6 Horrifying Things That Happen Before You Leave the Womb

#3. You're Covered in Cheese Wax

David Clark/Photos.com

See that white stuff? No, somebody's not trying to keep a baby from sticking to the table by rolling it in flour. That's called vernix caseosa, and it's found on all babies during the last trimester of the pregnancy. Its name comes from the Latin words vernix (varnish) and caseosa (cheesy), which just goes to show you that you should never go naming gross medical curiosities on an empty stomach.

via Schwangerschaft.net
Try not to empty your stomach until after you've named it.

The white gunk is actually a biofilm, and you can think of it as a sealant for a newborn's skin. Vernix caseosa serves a ton of important functions, like effectively waterproofing us while in the uterus so that we don't come out all wrinkly and looking like Benjamin Button. The varnish also has mutant-like antibiotic properties and helps with heat regulation.

The liquid cellophane usually fades off once your lungs develop and you lose most of your duck-like properties. That's why preterm babies are apparently drenched with the stuff, but full-term babies only have patches of it left. There is one other good side to vernix caseosa, but it's not your boon. Considering that vernix is greasier than the floor at McDonald's, many doctors believe that the slippery coating makes childbirth a little easier for the mom. See, that's why you're naturally covered in cheese varnish -- to lube you out of the vagina with minimal tearing. Childbirth truly is a wonderful thing.

Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
We'd warn against using cream cheese as lube, but you're already headed for the kitchen.

#2. You Break Out in Blisters and Acne

T. de Araujo

Pustular melanosis is a skin disorder that often hits children in utero and manifests itself as a bunch of blisters that pop to reveal dark "freckles" inside them, like some sort of Cenobite Kinder Surprise. If you're wondering why you don't see more newborns cosplaying as Batman villains, it's because the disorder is completely benign, with the blisters and freckles fading altogether within three to 12 weeks. Knowing that probably doesn't do much to lessen the shock of going through the pain of childbirth only to be handed a tiny little Killer Croc for your effort.

Josu Sein Martinez/Photos.com
He looks just like daddy!

Then again, having to deal with a freshly spawned lizard child might be a welcome alternative to giving birth to a kid apparently already in the midst of puberty. Sebaceous gland hyperplasia and milia cover a newborn's face with yellow/white acne as if it spent the last nine months gorging on double-fried cheeseburgers and listening to Marilyn Manson.

We typically think of acne as something we don't have to worry about until puberty, but because of the leftover hormones from mommy dearest, it's pretty common in 40 to 50 percent of all infants. However, sebaceous gland hyperplasia differs from the acne you get as a teenager in that it will almost certainly fade before the night of the big dance.

via GPOnline
If only you could trust him to not eat the poinsettia.

#1. You're Swimming in Your Own Shit and Piss

The Image Bank/Getty Images

You've probably heard the phrase "her water broke" and know that it's a sign that someone is having a baby. However, chances are you don't know exactly what that is, and thus are not sufficiently grossed out by it yet. We're here to change that.

Paul Vasarhelyi/Photos.com
If you see someone in labor, don't help. Flee.

"Water breaking" refers to the amniotic sac inside the uterus rupturing and spilling the fluid inside. But what is amniotic fluid actually made of? Why, the kid's old piss, of course!

At the beginning, amniotic fluid is composed of water and cells from the baby, but that changes as soon as Jesus brings the growing offspring its own functional urinary system. Around the fourth month, a baby will have sufficiently developed organs to pee into the amniotic fluid like a drunken freshman at his first kegger. To make matters more unsettling, a fetus will then ingest the amniotic urine cocktail, filter it through its brand new kidneys, and then expel it in a vicious cycle that eventually turns the womb into a German porno set.

Scott Barbour/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Is this NSW? We don't even know anymore.

By the time a typical human baby slips out into the world, it has usually drunk up to 15 ounces of amniotic fluid/urine a day, or roughly 3.5 gallons a month. Now, it is worth mentioning that this entire process is perfectly harmless to the fetus -- just like the occasional ingestion of poop that floats around their amniotic environment like a toilet malfunction at the International Space Station. Meconium is the medical name given to a baby's first bowel movement, which is, of course, also pooped directly into the amniotic sac.

Meconium is typically released at times of high stress. We might have stretched the truth earlier when we said that drinking your own poop is perfectly harmless, as it can lead to meconium aspiration syndrome, which happens when a baby's poop becomes trapped in its airways and obstructs breathing. So if you've been proudly bragging to your alumni newsletter that you've "never choked on your own shit," well, we might have some bad news for you ...


Matt firmly denies ever being born. He has a Twitter account here. That doesn't mean he uses it, but it exists if you want to remind him how wrong he is.


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Related Reading: You can become a drug addict while still in the womb too. We're not even kidding. And were you aware that newborn babies can come out with a coat of wolfman-like body hair? They totally can. Yes, babies are terrifying monsters. But they're also amazing.

BMX Cat: Less creepy than a baby, and looks much better on a t-shirt.

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