Getting Pregnant for the First Time: What Moms Wish They Knew
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Getting Pregnant for the First Time: What Moms Wish They Knew

We're sharing some of the invaluable advice from moms that they wish they'd known when getting pregnant for the first time.

Updated April 4, 2024
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Whether it’s something that just happens or something we plan for, pregnancy is one of the most significant events a woman will go through in her life. For many, we have an idea of what it means to be pregnant, but while it is a miracle, new moms tend not to talk about the less-than-ideal things. But these brave mothers came clean and divulged what they wished they had known when they were pregnant for the first time, from the pain to the aftermath!

What To Know About Getting Pregnant for the First Time

From the realities of morning sickness to unwanted attention from strangers, there’s a lot that women don’t often share about being pregnant. See what several experienced mothers, new mothers, and those with a baby on the way had to say about becoming pregnant for the first time.

Getting Pregnant Doesn’t Always Happen When You Think It Will

Multiple factors can affect when you become pregnant. For instance, you’re most fertile and likely to become pregnant during ovulation, about 12 to 14 days before your next period.1 But that doesn’t mean you’ll get pregnant the first time you try. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), “more than half of healthy couples get pregnant within the first six months of trying” instead of getting pregnant immediately.2

These moms shared their experiences of when they became pregnant:

“You don’t just have sex and a baby appears. You have to know when you are ovulating and that that is the only time you can get pregnant.” — Dani, new mom of one

“Getting off birth control does not equate to getting pregnant right away and your body can actually have a withdrawal from the birth control that can mimic pregnancy symptoms.” —Ashley, new mom of one3

“For some, it can take years of ‘trying,’ while for others, it only takes a few days. So be prepared for either.” — Crystal, currently pregnant for the first time

“It’s not as much in your control as you think. I thought if I did XYZ then I would have a baby . . . and I did, the first time, which bolstered my ego of how I was in control. But the second time, it took over a year for me to get pregnant (with help.) I think when a person is trying to get pregnant the first time, it’s helpful to know how it isn’t always easy.” — Sarah, mom of two

Morning Sickness Isn’t Just for the Morning

Surprisingly, “morning” sickness may not be the most accurate name. The American Pregnancy Association says that morning sickness can happen at any time of the day. Luckily, there are some things you can do to remedy it, such as eating smaller meals, avoiding warm areas, and smelling lemon or ginger.4 Here’s what a couple of women said about when they had morning sickness:

Morning sickness isn’t just in the morning. It’s all day!” — Cami, mom of two

“Morning sickness is BS. It’s all day, everyday.” — Crystal, currently pregnant for the first time

You Will Feel Pain

Another not-so-fun symptom of pregnancy is pain. You may have everything from back pain to abdominal pain to hip pain.5,6 Some moms even get elbow, neck, and knee pain.6 Here are some mothers who opened up about having pain and fatigue during pregnancy:

“Everything hurts when you’re pregnant. Not all at the same time and not just the ‘normal’ pain you’d expect (back pain from a growing belly). And it gets worse towards the end. No one even mentioned that to me, ever!” — Ashley, new mom of one

“Being in pain, uncomfortable, not being able to breath when you sleep. It’s like you’re a different person with all the changes. And these fake contractions that go on all day long when you least expect it. They are not enough for you to be in labor, but enough to be a pain.” — Shakira, expecting her first baby

“How tired you feel during pregnancy. Nothing will prepare you for that!” — Stephanie, mom of two

You’re Going To Be Getting a Lot of Attention

When you’re showing, you’re likely to draw lots of people’s attention, whether you’d like to or not. You may start getting unsolicited (and maybe even unhelpful) advice from in-laws, family members, strangers, etc. Check out what this new mom shared about dealing with unwanted attention during pregnancy:

“Everyone is going to stop you and ask you when the baby’s due date is and try to touch your stomach. (Insert eye roll here.)” — Dani, new mom of one

You Can’t Assume Your Pregnancy or Birth Will Go a Certain Way

While creating a birth plan with your doctor is essential, things may go differently during the actual birth. For instance, one study found that first-time moms have a 23.7% chance of getting an unplanned primary cesarean.7 See what first-time mom Dani had to say about unplanned C-sections:

“C-sections are common and even if you have an amazing pregnancy and no complications, you may still have a C-section. I would have liked to know what a C-section was like and what the recovery was like so I could have been more prepared.” — Dani, new mom of one

Symptoms Don’t End Once the Baby Is Born

You can experience many symptoms during pregnancy, but unfortunately, they don’t all end when your baby is born. For example, it’s common for women to develop postpartum depression and anxiety. About one in seven women experience PPD.8 And according to one study, about one in five women have an anxiety disorder postpartum.9

This new mom shared her thoughts about getting these postpartum mood disorders:

“I would have appreciated being more educated on postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.” — Colleen, new mom of one

It Will All Be Worth It

While there are upsides and downsides to being pregnant, it’ll all be worth it when you finally get to hold your baby. Here is one mom’s experience with pregnancy and meeting her son for the first time:

“Being pregnant was easy, oh so easy. Getting to the point of being able to become pregnant was the true struggle. I had a long journey, but holding my son and looking into his sweet eyes makes it all seem so remote and distant. Like someone else lived it, like it wasn’t me going through it and I was always meant to be his mommy.” — Carmen, new mom of one

Thank you to all the mamas who were open to sharing their experiences with us. We can relate to many of these points and know this will help other new mothers.

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Jessica is a writer and editor with a focus on all things lifestyle. Whether she is discovering the latest restaurants, staying up-to-date on new styles, helping brides plan their wedding,… Read more

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