Having a child growing inside you is one of life’s many wonders. Apart from the nausea and dizzy spells, the incessant use of the bathroom and steady weight gain, there are lots of other interesting facts about pregnancy you should know especially if you are a first-time mum-to-be:

1. Expansion of the uterus

Studies have shown that during the gestation period, a pregnant woman’s uterus expands up to 500 times its normal size! Don’t be scared about this, the expansion is important for it to accommodate the growing baby inside your womb. Immediately after delivery, the uterus begins to return back to its normal size and weight.

Read More: Simple ways to reduce weight after pregnancy

2. Your gums become vulnerable

Once you get pregnant, it becomes even more important that you practice good dental hygiene. This is so that you don’t end up suffering from gingivitis (commonly called bleeding gum). Pay regular visits to your dentist and maintain good diet plan and lifestyle.

Read More: Essential Dental Care Tips for Pregnant Women

3. Your baby might not be born at 9 months

Although pregnancies usually last for 9 months, some pregnancies exceed that period. In some cases, labour is induced if the mother’s health is at risk with the prolonged gestation. So, expect to be a couple of weeks or even one month late.

Read More: Checklist of Things to Do When Your Labour Has Started

4. Your unborn baby can interact with you

Studies have shown that unborn babies can hear sounds and feel touch. This means you don’t have to wait until the baby is born before you can say “mummy loves you”, it can be done while the baby is still in your womb. You can also stroke your belly while communicating with your unborn baby.

5. Increase in body temperature

During the gestation period, a woman’s body temperature is slightly above the normal body temperature. This tends to leave the woman feeling dehydrated, so drink enough water to remain hydrated.

6. Cases of insomnia

A lot of women experience this but it occurs mostly in the final trimester. The natural way to tackle this issue is by drinking warm milk. This is because milk contains natural occurring amino acid which helps to induce sleep. Try these effective sleeping positions during pregnancy »

7. Varied contraction rate

Reports of a Swiss study points to the fact that for first time mums, they have to go through approximately 135 contractions. For those who have already had issues, their bodies required approximately 68 contractions before the baby finally comes.

8. What you eat is transferred to your baby

This is why it is important that you maintain a healthy eating plan. Avoid taking over-the-counter drugs without proper prescription from your doctor because every drug, food or drink you take, gets transferred to the unborn child through the placenta. Here’s a list of recommended foods to eat during pregnancy »

9. It is not just your weight

If you are scared of weight gain during pregnancy, it is important to note that what makes up the total weight gained includes the unborn baby’s weight (approximately 38%), the weight of the placenta, fluid and blood.

10. Maintaining ideal weight helps define your health

Studies have shown that women who don’t gain much weight during pregnancy have minimal chances of suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure during pregnancy, as opposed to those who are over-weight.

Read More: Guide to Managing Weight Gain during Pregnancy

11. Your sense of smell improves significantly

Almost every pregnant woman experiences a surge in her sense of smell and taste. Studies have shown that this change is what helps expectant mothers to avoid foods that might put their unborn child at risk. There are aversions to coffee, smoke, alcohol and highly spiced foods.

12. Contractions continue even after delivery

Yes, after delivery, most mothers experience muscle cramps for a few more days. This is your body’s way of helping the uterus return back to its normal shape and size and also, prevent excess loss of blood.

13. Your nails grow faster and stronger

Due to the increased levels of hormones in pregnant woman, their nails tend to grow faster and stronger too. Other contributory factors are those vitamins being consumed on daily basis.

14. You will become moody

This is attributed to the spike in hormones. Every little thing makes you cry. Women also tend to be moody when pregnant so it helps if people around you understand when you lose your cool and give them ‘a piece of your mind’, especially your husband.

Read More: Tips on Coping with Mood Swings During Pregnancy

15. Extreme exhaustion

This applies mostly to the working women. Don’t panic if you notice you are no longer as energetic as you used to be, precisely before you got pregnant. A lucky few however, are very energetic throughout pregnancy.

16. You will pee anywhere and anytime

If you don’t pee in public places, wait until you get pregnant. You will pee anywhere and anytime. To help yourself, always keep a good supply of tissue rolls in your bag.

17. People will admire you more

People always tend to have a soft spot for pregnant women. They will offer you a lift, give up their seats for you and yes, even touch your baby bump. Just be yourself, it is nature working.