Redditors Share What They Learned About Pregnancy Once They Were Pregnant—Some Things You Don't Learn in a Book

From how long a pregnancy actually is to symptoms you've never heard of, here is what Reddit has to say about what they learned while pregnant.

South Asian pregnant woman holding her hand over mouth because of nausea
Photo: Getty

In the middle of the night when I was pregnant with my fifth child (seriously), I found myself soaking in a lukewarm tub after my husband's attempts at massaging my calves failed to relieve mind-numbing leg cramps. How had I never known—even after several earlier pregnancies—that this random pain was a possible side effect of growing a human? To be fair, there are so many things about pregnancy no one tells you about. Ahem, you might need a catheter, so you don't pee all over yourself after you get an epidural. As parents shared in a recent Reddit thread, we learn so much upon seeing that positive pregnancy test.

To kick things off, the original poster (OP) in the thread shared their "aha" moment about pregnancy, writing, "I thought that you just always had an umbilical cord inside you. It actually comes from the placenta that forms after [the] first trimester. I was like, wow. I never knew how they got the umbilical cord back inside."

Hey, no judgment here, since I never bothered to even ponder the hows or whys of umbilical cords pre-pregnancy. After sharing this revelation with Reddit, the OP went on to ask, "What's the one thing you never knew about until after you became pregnant?" And oh boy did people have thoughts.

Sticking with the umbilical cord theme, one person admitted, "I knew it was a cord to feed the baby but had no idea there was a giant organ attached to it which gets delivered after the baby."

And speaking of the placenta, another poster confessed about pushing out that "giant organ." "I didn't know that you kept having contractions after birth, although not as strong. You also have to 'birth' out the placenta after you're all sore and done."

It turns out that misconceptions about gestation start right away, with someone else in the thread expressing what many of us have learned the hard way: "I never realized they start counting pregnancy from the last period."

"I didn't realize how long 40 weeks of discomfort really is," another Redditor wryly noted.

And then, there are those weird pregnancy symptoms, like the debilitating leg cramps I experienced that night. "I never really believed it when women said they were tired. Holy moly the fatigue is no joke!" volunteered one exhausted pregnant person, while another commenter agreed, "100%! I always thought that pregnant people were being a little dramatic. I am eating my words for sure."

"I had no idea that NASAL CONGESTION AND NOSEBLEEDS were a pregnancy symptom!" said another shocked expectant Redditor.

Another huge teaching moment for this thread was this magical phenomenon: "My biggest surprise has been how much baby moves." The parent-to-be added, "It's kind of weird thinking back about all the pregnant people I've known and interacted with, knowing they had someone wiggling and kicking and somersaulting inside them all the time while they just had regular conversations and went about their day like it wasn't happening."

And finally, the miracle of life also amazed several Reddit users, with one musing about what they now understand post-pregnancy, "How much can go wrong BUT how typically everything miraculously goes right."

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