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24 Random Facts About . . .

Pregnancy

  1. Each year in the United States, there are approximately six million pregnancies. This means that at any one time, about 4% of women in the U.S. are pregnant.a
  2. Only 25% of couples actively trying to conceive will experience pregnancy within the woman?s first cycle. However, 90% of couples will achieve pregnancy within the first 12 months of actively trying.a
  3. Approximately 10% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Many miscarriages often occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.a
  4. Each year, 1.2 million women in the U.S. choose to end their pregnancies through early termination.a
  5. Twin Babies
    Just 3% of all pregnant women will give birth to twins
  6. About 3% of all pregnant women will give birth to twins. This rate is an increase of nearly 60% since the early 1980s. However, 17% of pregnant women over 45 will give birth to twins.b
  7. Nigeria has the highest twinning rate in the world at around 4.5%. Some experts attribute this number to the large consumption of yams in Nigeria.b
  8. Just under 500,000 babies are born each year in the U.S. to teenage mothers.a
  9. After delivery, approximately 13% of U.S. women are diagnosed with post-partum depression.b
  10. The average size of a full-term baby in the U.S. is 8 pounds. This is an increase from an average size of 6 pounds 30 years ago.a
  11. The largest baby ever born weighed in at over 23 pounds but died just 11 hours after his birth in 1879. The largest surviving baby was born in October 2009 in Sumatra, Indonesia and weighed an astounding 19.2 pounds at birth.g
  12. Less than 1% of women in the United States choose to deliver their babies at home, while 30% of Dutch women opt for home births.a
  13. Approximately one in three babies in the United States is now delivered by cesarean section. The number of cesarean sections in the U.S. has risen nearly 46% since 1996.a
  14. According to a Time Magazine article published in 1945, the longest pregnancy on record is 375 days (as opposed to the usual 280 days). Amazingly, the delivered baby was only 6 pounds, 15 ounces.f
  15. The highest number of surviving children from a single birth is eight with Californian Nadya Suleman giving birth to octuplets in January 2009. The octuplets were made up of six boys and two girls and celebrated their first birthday on January 26, 2010.d
  16. Fewer than 10% of babies are born on their exact due date, 50% are born within one week of the due date, and 90% are born within two weeks of the date.a
  17. Healthy Pregnant Woman
    A pregnant woman should eat approximately 300 extra calories per day
  18. Pregnant women at a healthy weight should eat an extra 300 calories per day. This amount is roughly equivalent to a serving of yogurt and half of a bagel.e
  19. While not all pregnant women will crave pickles and ice cream specifically, pregnancy cravings are rooted in the body?s extra need for minerals and comfort-inducing serotonin.e
  20. Despite several rumors to the contrary, microwave ovens do not pose a threat to an unborn fetus.a
  21. During pregnancy, a woman is more likely to experience bleeding gums and nosebleeds due to hormonal changes that increase blood flow to the mouth and nose.e
  22. Milk production and lactation can actually begin as early as the second trimester in some women.e Carrying a baby ?high? or ?low? is dependent on a woman?s body type and is not a reliable predictor of the baby?s gender.e
  23. Approximately 70% of expectant mothers report experiencing some symptoms of morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy.a
  24. Pregnant women usually experience a heightened sense of smell beginning late in the first trimester. Some experts call this the body?s way of protecting a pregnant women from foods that are unsafe for the fetus.e
  25. Many women experience thicker and shinier hair during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and consumption of extra vitamins. New hair volume gained during pregnancy typically begins to fall out after three months post partum.e
  26. While the feet do not actually get longer or wider during pregnancy, most women do gain up to half a shoe size, due to increased fluid volume in the foot.e

-- Posted November 10, 2008. Updated February 16, 2010

References

a American Pregnancy Association. Accessed: September 5, 2008.

b Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. ?Health Topic: Pregnancy.? Accessed: September 4, 2008.

d Los Angeles Times. “Octuplets Born in Bellflower.” Accessed February 15, 2009.

e Murkoff, Heidi, A. Eisenberg, & S. Hathaway. 2002. What to Expect When You?re Expecting. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

f Time Magazine. “Prodigious Pregnancy.” Accessed: September 8, 2008.

g Today Staff and Wire. “Whoa, baby! 19-Pound Boy is Named Akbar.” Accessed February 15, 2009.