Many moms think that they have pregnancy all figured out. They know that there are some symptoms that they are going to have to go through like morning sickness and heartburn, as well as a growing baby bump that might receive some strange looks. But all those things are worth it to keep their baby healthy.
But even moms who have been through it before might not be aware of some of the strangest things that pregnancy can do to a woman. The hormones that are coursing through her body can cause things to get weird pretty quickly. Some of the most off-the-wall things are physical and others are a bit more emotional or involve mental health. Some of these don't happen with every pregnancy, and some are internal so moms don't see them or know the situation, but they're real and very much happening.
We think that a baby growing from just a handful of cells to a living, breathing, human with a heartbeat in just nine months is strange and miraculous in and of itself. But the accompanying things that happen to the body during that time can be just as incredible and just as strange.
Here are 20 weird things even experienced moms don't know about pregnancy.
A lot of people are phased by shows like "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." They can't imagine why someone wouldn't be able to figure it out — but that's because they don't realize that sometimes moms can still get periods while they are pregnant.
They have heard of spotting, which can happen when the embryo implants around the same time as the period would come in the first month of pregnancy. But some women experience spotting every month. Their so-called period might not be as heavy as it was previously, but some don't experience a heavy flow ever. When women are still having periods, they can wave off a little nausea and weight gain.
Moms know to expect weight gain and changes to their body during pregnancy, but they don't realize that they might not be able to recognize themselves because their face changes. Khloe Kardashian talked about it when she was pregnant.
A lot of people didn't believe Koko, since her family is known for undergoing aesthetic changes. But she said her lips were extra puffy because of pregnancy, and the truth is that it can happen. Moms' noses also can spread. Some of the changes might go away after the birth, but others might be permanent, and that can catch some moms off guard.
Of course, a mom knows that her heart is going to grow with pregnancy since it will expand to include the love she has for her sweet bundle of joy. But many moms don't know that the heart literally grows as well during pregnancy.
The change comes because the amount of blood in the body increases so much so that it can provide blood and oxygen to the baby. The heart increases in size to compensate for the extra volume, and for most that means that it gets about 12 percent bigger. And a lot more capacity for loving that sweet baby.
It's actually possible to get pregnant when you are already pregnant. For women who are active with multiple partners, it can be a big issue, since it's possible to have twins who have two different fathers.
All of the cases that we have heard about happened pretty early in the pregnancy, where the mom released more than one egg. One was fertilized during one encounter, then the other egg was released and fertilized a few days later. Having twins can be complicated and risky, so moms might want to know that it can happen — they can get pregnant while pregnant.
Just like a pregnant woman has an increased blood supply while pregnant, she also gets an increase in the amount of oxygen too — but unfortunately, the amount of blood is greater, so there is less oxygen as a percentage of it. That means that there is less oxygen to go around. And most of it goes to the baby.
That means that many moms find themselves more out of breath than they would expect, even when walking up stairs or doing exercises that they do every day. Sometimes it can be frustrating to a mom, but she can rest assured that the baby has all the oxygen he needs, even if she has to stop and catch her breath.
Moms-to-be know that they can expect some intense cravings when they are pregnant. But they might find that even the foods that they love the most can have a different taste because of the baby on board.
Taste buds can alter a bit, plus hormones can have an impact that no one would expect. Some women end up succumbing to a condition where they have a metallic taste in their mouth. That's no fun for anybody and it makes eating no fun at a time when women want to indulge a little. Taste is a very important sense, as it can help people avoid spoiled or poisoned foods, but it can be hard to trust it when you are pregnant.
Pregnant women can get really concerned about their nether regions when they are getting close to delivery because it can involve a lot of stretching and tearing. But the parts down there can also change pretty dramatically during the pregnancy to the point where it can be alarming to take a look.
This one also involves the increase in blood volume that happens during pregnancy. The extra blood can cause swelling, which most women experience in their feet, but also happens in her womanly area. In fact, a rush of blood can turn the affected region blue-yes blue. It's hard for mom to get a look, but if her partner gets a peek, it might seem alarming, but it's perfectly normal.
During pregnancy, it's amazing for mothers to know that their child is physically inside them. And while they know that their child will forever be treasured in their hearts, the weird thing is that their DNA is forever in mom's body too.
Scientists have discovered that while the baby and the uterus come out at the birth, a number of the baby's cells stay behind. It's harmless but an interesting and strange fact that bonds a mom and her baby even more. After the umbilical cord is cut, that connection remains physically as well as emotionally.
Most moms have heard of the dark line that can form down a woman's stomach when she is pregnant, but that doesn't happen to everybody. And they know about the hormonal positive that many times pregnant women don't have to deal with acne. But they don't know that almost all women experience a change in their skin tone.
According to research, skin tone changes in 90 percent of pregnant women. It might be subtle, but it might mean that she needs a different shade of foundation in her makeup bag. It's all hormonal, but it can be permanent. That's why moms need new makeup and a little pampering after birth.
Luscious hair is a perk of pregnancy, as hormone levels can make it so that a woman's hair doesn't shed and gets fuller and softer. But as much as moms enjoy that amazing truth, they might be bummed to find out that hair can grow everywhere, even in places that you don't expect.
During pregnancy, women can get extra hair above their lip and even on their chest or back, legs or arms. It can be embarrassing. But what is bad news for the hair on a woman's head is good news for the hair everywhere else — after the birth, mom's hormones will change again and the hair will start to fall out. That's OK when it creates a mustache.
Moms can change from their head to their toes during pregnancy — the brain can get one of the most dramatic impacts for some. It's weird when a woman can't find her keys until all of a sudden she finds it in the fridge. But it's a true phenomenon known as pregnancy brain.
While research is still being conducted, doctors believe that pregnancy can act almost like a traumatic event on the brain. Moms can have changes develop in the folds. It might impact her ability to stay on task or be sure she has followed all the steps in a complicated set of instructions at its height, and some of the changes might be permanent.
No one wants to have yucky breath, but something weird about pregnancy is that it can sometimes happen when women are having a baby. The hormones that help the body be able to carry the baby can impact everything, and that includes the mouth. Many women end up experiencing tooth decay, and that can make their breath stink.
Dentists recommend that pregnant women work hard to stay up on brushing and flossing because of the possibility of decay. A lot of women end up needing a cavity filled or a crown put on, although dentists like for them to wait until the part of the pregnancy where there is less danger to the baby. Brushing can help with the breath too, and make it more pleasant for everyone.
There is a lot of talk these days about the placenta. It's the organ that develops to carry nutrients from the mom to the baby, and it is expelled from the uterus after the birth. A lot of animal moms eat the placenta, and more and more human moms are doing it as well. While some are repulsed by that idea, they might change their mind when they learn the translation of the name.
In Latin, placenta means "cake," so maybe it is wise to eat it. The placenta is full of blood, so some people believe that it can help give the mom a lot of energy and iron after the birth. Some say that it helps stave off postpartum depression as well. Very few people actually serve placenta as cake though. It's more likely going to be made into pills or served like liver.
A lot of women worry about postpartum depression, which can be triggered by hormonal changes after the delivery. The issue has gotten a lot of attention, especially because in some cases, moms and babies have died. But another weird thing that happens during pregnancy is the way that hormones can impact mental health.
Women can have pregnancy depression or pregnancy obsessive-compulsive disorder, even if they haven't had symptoms of mental health issues before. It becomes even more difficult because of the concern that medication could harm the baby, but doctors say sometimes the risk of the medication is outweighed by the risk of not getting treatment. So talk to your physician if you need help.
Hormones can mess with everything when a woman is pregnant, even areas that she never really thinks about. For women who are singers, though, it can be tough to find out that pregnancy can make their voice sound weird.
We've seen a lot of our favorite singers go through pregnancy in the last few years, including Beyonce and Carrie Underwood. But one diva especially had a hard time with her voice when she was pregnant. Adele said that her voice got deeper and it stayed that way after she had her son. We still think that her voice sounds beautiful, but to her, it's weird and that can take some getting used to. We won't mind if her next album goes does a key or two, though.
We've talked a lot about the weird things that pregnancy hormones do to a woman, but we've found one strange fact about the hormone levels themselves, specifically estrogen. We all know that the levels are high, but most women don't have any idea how high until they hear this stat.
The amount of estrogen that a woman has at the end of her pregnancy is enough to last a woman who isn't pregnant for three years. Three years! It's no wonder that women's emotions get placed on overdrive during this time in their life. It's like three years worth of PMS all at once.
Many women have spent their entire lives trying to avoid belching or farting in private and they would be aghast at the very idea of passing gas out of either end in public. But with pregnancy, it's hard to control what comes out when, so some moms end up belching like an 8-year-old boy.
The gas problems are caused by slowed digestion due to hormones. For some women, the uncontrolled belching can begin even before their first positive pregnancy test, and it can remain a problem for a full nine months. It can be smelly and embarrassing and really, really weird.
Pregnancy loss can be devastating. But it happens so often that a number of women wait to announce their pregnancy until after the first trimester when the risk of loss goes down. The weird thing is that more and more women are experiencing a strange phenomenon known as vanishing twin syndrome. That happens when an initial ultrasound shows that there are two embryos, but at the next ultrasound, there is no evidence of the second baby.
It's not like a typical miscarriage where there is bleeding and cramping. Instead, the mom-to-be can be caught completely unaware that the baby is gone. And the cells seem to be absorbed into the surviving twin. Doctors think that the phenomenon has likely always been around but earlier ultrasounds and better technology have documented more cases. While the circumstances might seem weird, it can be just as devastating for a mom like any other pregnancy loss.
Sleep can be a bit hard to come by during pregnancy. For many women, it's hard to find a comfortable position, and heartburn can get worse at night to the point where it is hard to lay down. But once women do get to sleep, that's when it can get really weird. Between pregnancy hormones and stress, moms end up having some very vivid dreams.
Some women have strange or even scary dreams about motherhood or their baby, which might reflect their worries about the future. But sometimes the dreams take a more pleasant direction, with the hormones giving her some over-the-top dreams. These strange and amazing dreams can make the little sleep that mom gets very interesting.
With the baby bump, a lot of women end up with sore backs during pregnancy. That's understandable, and many women are pretty forgiving because they think that the pain is a temporary issue that will go away with the birth. The weird thing is, though, that the pain might just be beginning.
For some women, their back pain isn't just because of the weight of the baby bump. It is related to the hormone relaxin, which can cause issues in the sacroiliac joint in the lower back. Strange symptoms postpartum like pain when standing up that goes away once they are upright can be a sign of things to come. Sometimes physical therapy or even surgery is needed to get well, so talk to a doctor.