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22 Utterly Bizarre Scientific Facts About Pregnancy

How does a year-long pregnancy work for you?

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1. Nipple stimulation is the only scientifically proven method of legitimately bringing on labour.

Getty Images / Jeffrey Hamilton

Rubbing or rolling a woman's nipples when she's full term can stimulate the release of a hormone called oxytocin, which can cause contractions. This method is called "the comfort technique".

3. Babies can taste the food their mothers eat in the womb.

Strong flavours like garlic can pass through the amniotic fluid in the womb, and a study showed that babies whose mothers drank a lot of carrot juice displayed a preference for carrot juice themselves.


5. And some people think it may have something to do with yams.

6. It's possible to fall pregnant through oral sex. In fact, one woman conceived after oral sex and a knife fight.

Getty Images/iStockphoto erikreis

A girl from Lesotho born without a vagina became pregnant when she was stabbed in the stomach after performing oral sex on her boyfriend. Seriously. This is an actual thing that happened.


10. Pregnant woman and new mothers can lactate automatically when they hear a baby crying (even if it’s not their own).

13. The old wives’ tale is true: Pregnant women who suffer with heartburn ARE more likely to give birth to babies with full heads of hair. / Via

15. Having a baby boy can increase the mother's risk of autoimmune diseases, and make her whatsitcalled worse. Forgetfulness, that's the word. / Via

Thanks, the patriarchy.

16. Babies cry in the womb.

Getty Images/Hemera

It's clear from 4D scans that babies frown in the womb, but scientists have also been able to tell from measuring their breathing patterns that unborn babies also cry. This, they say, isn't necessarily because they're upset – they're just practising.


18. When a pregnant woman is full term, her placenta will produce more oestrogen in a day than a non-pregnant woman would produce in three years.

19. In addition to her uterus, a woman's feet and heart increase in size during pregnancy.

Getty Images Elizabeth Hachem

Pregnant women's hearts grow to handle the increased volume of blood in the body, and feet swell due to fluid retention and the stretchiness of pregnant ligaments.