Did you know that the most prolonged recorded pregnancy lasted for 375 days? Yep, back in 1945, a strong and healthy baby girl was born in Los Angeles after spending an entire year inside her mother’s womb!
How about the fact that a woman aged 66 years old gave birth to a healthy baby girl in 2006? She was the most senior first-time mother in the United Kingdom at that time!
Interesting, right? While it’s motivational to know that women of all ages can give birth, it’s also essential to understand some basic facts about the life-changing event of childbirth.
Here are some things that you should know:
Birth Injuries are Common:
We don’t mean to scare you. But, the truth is that seven out of every one thousand babies suffer from a birth injury. While most of these injuries are minor and will heal independently, some can be serious enough to cause long-term problems.
The most common birth injuries include:
- Cephalohematoma: A bruise on the scalp caused by trauma during delivery.
- Brachial plexus injury: Damage to the nerves in the shoulder.
- Cerebral palsy: A group of disorders that affect movement and muscle tone.
There could be several reasons that may result in sustaining a birth injury. Maybe you were in prolonged labor, had high blood pressure issues, or had an incompetent doctor.
The best way to avoid any birth injuries is by being aware of the risks and having a good support system that will help you make rationally sound decisions.
So, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor any questions you may have and make sure that you are in contact with an experienced lawyer you can trust if something goes wrong.
The First Stage of Labor is the Longest
You’re probably counting down the days (or hours) until your little one arrives. Maybe you believe that you will “know” when you go into labor.
But the truth is, labor doesn’t usually happen that way. It typically progresses in stages, with each stage bringing you closer to meeting your baby.
Many women find that understanding the process of labor helps them to feel more in control.
The first stage of labor consists of early labor and active labor.
Early labor is the longest phase of labor, and it can last for several hours (or even days). During early labor, your cervix will begin to dilate (open) and efface (thin out). You will experience mild contractions that might last for 30 to 60 seconds and come every five to 20 minutes.
As you progress from early to active labor, your contractions will become stronger, closer together, and regular. Your cervix will continue to dilate during this phase. You will likely feel more discomfort and may need pain relief.
Your Body Adjusts Temperature According to Your Child’s Needs
You may be concerned about many things during your pregnancy, but staying warm probably isn’t one of them.
But did you know that your body adjusts its temperature according to your child’s needs?
Your body temperature will be slightly higher than average during the first trimester as your metabolism increases. It is called the “basal body temperature.”
As your pregnancy progresses, your basal body temperature will decrease as your child grows and takes up more space in your womb.
But don’t worry, your body will adjust, and you will be able to keep yourself and your child warm enough. Once you hold your little one in your arms and feel they’re cold, bring them closer to your chest, and they will warm up in no time. Your chest can flush and heat up in response to your child’s needs. All the ore reasons for uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth.
Amniotic Fluid and Breastmilk Change in Taste
You must’ve heard your great-grandmother offering tips and tricks on making your breastmilk or amniotic fluid taste better. Or how you should avoid certain foods because they’ll make your breastmilk or amniotic fluid taste terrible.
We aren’t sure if they knew there was a scientific backing to their claim or if it was just an old wives’ tale. But there is some truth to it.
Your diet does affect the taste of your breastmilk and amniotic fluid. If you’re a foodie and manage to keep nausea at bay, your child is in for a treat!
Your breastmilk will take on the flavors of the spices and herbs you consume. So, if you’re in the mood for some Indian food, your baby will be too!
While it sounds fun, it also calls for precautions to avoid anything that might be harmful to your child. For instance, gassy foods like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower can make your baby fussy and uncomfortable. So, it’s best to avoid them.
The same goes for amniotic fluid. If you eat foods high in sodium, your amniotic fluid will be saltier. So, it’s best to keep it moderate.
The Full-Term Pregnant Uterus is a Body’s Strongest Muscle
You might not feel like it, but the uterus is the strongest muscle in your body.
It’s responsible for carrying your baby and their belongings for nine months. It also needs to be able to push them out when the time comes.
The full-term pregnant uterus is about the size of a watermelon. But don’t worry; it will return to its original size six to eight weeks postpartum.
During pregnancy, the uterus expands as the baby grows. It can stretch up to 500 times its original size. That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think?
The expansion is made possible by a combination of several things, including:
- The release of the hormone relaxin.
- The stretching of the ligaments that support the uterus.
- The growth of the uterine muscles.
As the uterus expands, it puts pressure on the stomach, so you might feel nauseous or have indigestion during pregnancy.
The good news is that the stomach and intestines will move up as the uterus expands, so you should have some relief by the end of your pregnancy.
You might have heard people say that the pregnancy brain is a myth. You’re in for a surprise (or not) when you find out it’s very real. You may forget where you put your keys or what you were supposed to buy at the grocery store. However, please don’t forget that you now have a little one depending on you.
Pregnancy is a blissful time for most women (minus the morning sickness and backaches). While it’s essential to understand the basics of pregnancy, don’t forget to enjoy the ride. After all, it’s not every day that you get to create and nurture a new life!