Pregnancy is a time in life when women feel closer to their spouse and body more than ever before. Here are a few facts about pregnancy for expecting moms.
Facts About Conception
- Women are most fertile during the 14 days before their menstrual cycle is supposed to start.
- Ovulation can be determined by changes in the cervical mucus.
- Progesterone, released by the corpus luteum, thickens the uterine lining for implantation.
- A fertilized egg is called a blastocyst.
- The uterus and cervix lower during ovulation to increase chances of conception.
- Implantation of the blastocyst can cause cramping and spotting.
- After implantation, HCG is released which is the hormone home pregnancy tests recognize.
- HCG levels are higher when a woman is pregnant with multiples.
- HCG is responsible for keeping the corpus luteum alive after 14 days.
- Due dates are calculated 240 days after the first day of the last menstrual cycle.
- Pregnancies last 40 weeks or about 10 months, not nine months.
- A full-term pregnancy is noted after 37 weeks.
- Multiples are often born around the 34th week of gestation.
- Weight gain during pregnancy should average 25 pounds.
- Weight gain is attributed to fetal weight, uterine weight, extra blood volume, placental weight and amniotic fluid.
- Labor is signaled by hormones in the body.
- Many old wives’s tale remedies have no impact on labor starting.
- Ripening of the cervix can be used to promote labor.
- The bag of waters may not break before labor.
- Labor can last hours or days.
- The mucus plug falls about before labor, but it may take weeks for active labor to begin.
- Sex may help ripen the cervix for labor.
Pregnancy and Sex Facts
- The fetus cannot “feel” the penis during sex.
- Most women can have sex throughout pregnancy; changing to a more comfortable position as the tummy grows.
- Female orgasms do not hurt the fetus.
- Spotting may occur after sex due to increased blood supply to the vagina and cervix.
Facts About Post-Pregnancy Changes
- After pregnancy it can take months for hormone levels to return to normal.
- It is possible to become pregnant immediately after birth.
- Breastfeeding does not stop pregnancy.
- Bowel movements may slow after labor.
- Baby blues are common; depression should be reported.
- The placenta is delivered after the fetus, so contractions will continue even after baby is born.
These facts about pregnancy cover only a small portion of what happens and what to expect at conception, during pregnancy and after pregnancy. Every woman and every pregnancy is different. These facts assume an average pregnancy without complications.