In this survey report, we have summarized, the first pregnancy experiences of 101 Indian moms:
Table of Content
Pregnancy is the most beautiful experience one could ever be part of, not only for mothers but also fathers. Bubbling hormones triggering so many changes in your body – swollen breasts, vomiting, fatigue, food craving and aversion. Every stage of pregnancy brings with it different issues, concerns and doubts. What is normal during the first pregnancy? Do I need a pregnancy pillow? Is bleeding normal during pregnancy?
Just like you all, we at Pregnancy to Parenthood pondered: When it comes to the first pregnancy experience, what is normal? So, we surveyed 101 Indian women who have given birth, to know about their first pregnancy experiences. According to a Pregnancy to Parenthood survey, mostly all moms described their first pregnancy as the most beautiful experience of their life. And a whopping 63% of the moms said they had no major complications during their first pregnancy.
Planned or Unplanned Pregnancy
“A positive pregnancy test” is a shocker for both planned or unplanned pregnancies.
Women who face unplanned first pregnancies are sometimes overwhelmed and experience a range of emotions that includes anxiousness and even guilty for not being happy for the blessing. Worries about financial planning, body changes, and career sacrifices can make the mom-to-be a little depressed.
“Was your first pregnancy planned?”, was the first question Pregnancy to Parenthood asked the moms while surveying for their first pregnancy experiences. 61% of our moms said that their pregnancy was planned. And 39% said that the pregnancy was unplanned.
Despite the high number of accidental pregnancies, women more than ever have control over their reproductive life.
Early Pregnancy Symptoms
The first trimester of pregnancy is marked by some incredible transformations in a woman’s body. Knowing what all physical and emotional changes to possibly expect through the first phase of the pregnancy can assist you in the second and third trimesters.
Although your first sign of pregnancy might be a missed period, you can expect numerous other changes in the coming weeks, like – mood changes, tender breasts, headache, abdominal pains, darkened nipple areolas, nausea/vomiting, frequent urination, implantation bleeding, missed period. As per the surveyed mom’s first pregnancy experiences, the missed period was the first early pregnancy symptom for 71% of women. 40% of women experienced early nausea and vomiting during their first pregnancy. Other early pregnancy symptoms had mixed responses like mood changes – 23%, increase urination – 20%, tender breast – 17%, and abdominal pain – 14%.
What were your early pregnancy symptoms?
Pregnancy Testing at Home
Home Early Pregnancy tests check your urine sample for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A woman’s body produces this hormone after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus wall. A pregnancy test can tell if you are pregnant when this hormone is detected. Many home pregnancy tests claim to be precise as early as the first day of a missed period.
Pregnancy testing is one of the most stressful times of all first pregnancy experiences. Pregnancy to Parenthood questioned the survey group if they used a home pregnancy test kit. 90% of the women said that they did use a home pregnancy test kit. Pregnancy test kits are not only private and convenient, but also very fast and easy to use. Hence, more and more women in India are using it to check for pregnancy. As per the survey results, 3 out of 10 moms used the brand Preganews to test for pregnancy. The other brands mentioned by moms were Clearblue, Pregasure, First Response, I-can, and Apollo pregnancy test kits.
Tracking Baby’s Development
A Pregnant mom should expect big changes in the growing baby’s development every week. With so many things to keep up with during pregnancy, using a pregnancy app/website to keep track of everything can be useful. These apps not only help in tracking the baby’s development but also calculate ovulation cycles and help in getting pregnant.
We asked 101 moms if they were using any app or website to track their baby’s development. 64% of the moms responded that they did use an app/website to track their baby’s week by week development. 2 in every 10 women said that they used Babycenter to track the baby’s growth. Some other apps mentioned by the moms were Healofy, Firstcry, and Ovia Health.
Body Changes and Pregnancy Symptoms
Pregnancy symptoms become very noticeable when you enter your second trimester. Common discomforts and symptoms like breast tenderness, food craving, depression, anxiety, body pain, vivid dreams, increased urination, acid reflux, morning sickness, water retention, cramps, bleeding, and insomnia, usually gets worse.
56% of the surveyed women experienced food cravings as per their first pregnancy experiences. 51% experienced increased urination, 52% experienced morning sickness, 27% experienced acid reflux, 29% anxiety, and 25% of women experienced body pain in their pregnancy. If you have any of the mentioned pregnancy symptoms and body changes then remember, you are not alone!
Which of the below did you experience during the course of your pregnancy?
Pregnancy symptoms and pregnancy complications can vary from mild and niggling discomforts to sometimes life-threatening ailments. It can be difficult for a new mom-to-be to determine which symptoms are normal and which are not especially when it’s the first pregnancy. Complications during first time pregnancy can drain a mother physically and mentally. Some of the commonly known pregnancy complications are placenta previa, gestational diabetes, hypertension, preeclampsia, pre-term labor, bleeding/spotting, and anemia.
So, we asked our moms if they had any complications during their first pregnancy. 6 in every 10 surveyed women said that they had no major complications other than some mild pregnancy symptoms. 9% of moms had placenta previa during their first pregnancy, 10% had gestational diabetes, 13% has some mild bleeding/spotting, 7% had preterm labor and 5% had anemia.
Essential Pregnancy Gears
Every woman’s pregnancy is unique, and many of the common pregnancy discomforts might not affect everyone. Comfort is significant in pregnancy as your body starts to change, so your pregnancy gears must-have list should include essential things that indulge you and your changing body. Maternity clothes, Maternity support bands, and belts, Maternity bras, pregnancy pillows, body butter/oils are some of the items that are a must-have in your pregnancy gears list.
Pregnancy to Parenthood asked 101 women what all pregnancy gears they used during their first pregnancy and here are their responses. Majority of the women – 78% used maternity clothes. Around 39% used lotion/oil/body butter for stretch marks and 32% used maternity bras.
Did you use any of the below pregnancy gears during pregnancy?
Moms Summarizing their First pregnancy
Pregnancy to Parenthood asked an open-ended question to the moms to summarize their first pregnancy experiences and more than 40% of moms said that it was a “Beautiful experience”. Here are some of the best responses.
“Enjoyed every bit of my pregnancy. Used to check the development of baby weekly using an app. The experience was mind-blowing, I can’t express in words.”
“Getting pregnant was a dream come true – with low hemoglobin and kidney stone and 1 blocked tube I got pregnant. Becoming a mother was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Though away from husband, I handled myself but he was always there for me. I have lived each moment of my pregnancy and seen the changes in me.”
“Being pregnant was an awesome feeling. I loved every moment of it (except the intense pelvic pain), the knowledge that a little life is growing inside me, feeling its flutters initially when the baby kicks. I gave it the name Buttons and would talk to it (here in India, we don’t know the baby’s sex until birth) and play music for it. Being pregnant and blessed with a normal pregnancy is the most wondrous experience.”
“I was cool during the whole pregnancy period. I kept myself always busy doing something creative like painting, playing the piano. I was very inquisitive to know all the different stages of fetal development. Overall it was a lovely experience.”
“My first pregnancy was a beautiful experience, with not much of a discomfort. The third trimester was a little difficult because of excessive urination and difficulty in walking but I’ll die to live those moments again.”
Several moms had a sweet and sour pregnancy experiences. A few moms even had pregnancy complications. Body during pregnancy constantly changes, which may cause some discomfort and uneasiness. Some discomforts may arise in the very early weeks of pregnancy, while rest will occur in the second or last trimesters. This is very normal in pregnancy but sometimes things can go wrong. It’s important to be aware of possible pregnancy complications so that you can better protect you and your unborn baby. Here are some mixed responses from the survey.
“My first pregnancy was not smooth. There were lots of complications. Initially spotting, lower abdomen pain throughout pregnancy, in between UTI and many more and at end premature baby.”
“I conceived after almost 3 years of marriage. It was a very emotional journey as it happened after I lost my dad. As a new mother, I was completely clueless. But I gradually evolved thanks to my husband, loved ones, and my little one.”
“A roller coaster ride. Uncertain moods. Those 9 months were not easy, but the only thing that kept my heart filled with happiness was the feeling that I am carrying our baby inside which will soon be in my arms.”
“My first pregnancy was very complicated as I was given complete bed rest as I had fibroids and had spotting 2 times, also had pre-labor (5months) but I was positive always had faith in God and finally gave birth to my Prince – completing 9 months (normal delivery).”
“Initially I was a bundle of nerves, happily excited to be a mom the first time…and with time the seriousness of it all made me lose my sleep many nights, mood swings put relationships especially with my better half to test a lot many times… But nothing can surpass the happiness I felt to see my baby whom I helped to create.”
Advice for New Moms
With digital media, parenting – pregnancy books, and search engines, there is certainly no shortage of advice available for new mothers. Even with all these resources, a new mom is always looking for authentic parenting advice from real-time moms. So, Pregnancy to Parenthood asked our insightful mothers to share their advisory based on their own first pregnancy experiences. Most of the moms asked mom-to-be to stay positive, enjoy the pregnancy, meditate, stay active, and eat healthy food. Here are some of the best words of wisdom.
“Once your baby is born only you know what’s best for your baby. Let no one bully you into doing something you are not comfortable with. I made sure DD who was a premature baby and I got an oil massage for a good 6 months. Having the support and resting in your 1st few months is imperative. Don’t shy away from asking or accepting help or information when read. Don’t be shy about discussing Breastfeeding….it could be very intimidating for a new mum.”
“Read up on what changes the body is going through and feel free to ask questions to your obstetrician.”
“To just go with the flow, take one day at a time, listen to your body and DOCTOR…positivity all around helps…enjoy each day, you become a first-time mom only once!”
“Read up as preparation always enables us to plan well and stay positive. It’s a miracle of life so have faith in the Giver of life! Post-pregnancy is more challenging. Motherhood is a blessing!”
“You will need help. Any help. Freeze some food beforehand as you will be busy. Don’t worry about housework. Look after yourself and your baby first”
“Enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest. Read good books, watch positive movies, do exercise, eat plenty of fruits. Compulsory walk at least a km. A day.”
“You were a baby! Your parents had you and cared for you! It’s your turn to gift your parents now!!! Have a happy and safe delivery. Believe me, God gives each mother the strength and courage to take care of the little life you will have in your arms soon!”
“Stay positive, keep active, also eat, drink healthy, and sleep well. Always try to be happy, exercise according to your convenience, and meditate to stay calm.
“It’s ok to feel horrible during pregnancy and it’s also ok to behave selfishly and put yourself above everyone and everything.”
“Try to undertake everyday prenatal yoga, if your pregnancy allows for it, that helps beat most of the issues.”
“Pregnancy is not easy and its experiences vary from person to person as each body is different also postnatal depression is for real. And if u face it seek for some help.”
“Sleep a lot, eat lots of healthy food, drink lots of fluids, take walks and never be sad or anxious because whatever you feel your baby will feel the same, so smile a lot, read and listen to music. Continue with your life as it was before being pregnant because pregnancy is not a disease. Enjoy your pregnancy and just be happy.”