"Pregnancy Confidential" Study Reveals Secrets of the First Trimester

WhatToExpect.com, the Leader in Pregnancy and Parenting, Sheds Light on Women's Experience of Early-Stage Pregnancy and the Misnomer of Morning Sickness

Jan 14, 2014, 08:20 ET from Everyday Health, Inc.

NEW YORK, Jan. 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- One group of people isn't sharing every aspect of their lives on Facebook, at least not right away: Eight out of 10 pregnant women plan to keep their pregnancy a secret during the first trimester.  And when they do choose to start spreading the news, Facebook friends are the last to know.

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WhatToExpect.com, the leading resource for parenting and pregnancy information from Heidi Murkoff's world-renowned What to Expect® brand, explores a range of first-trimester topics in its new study: Pregnancy Confidential. The iconic pregnancy site surveyed over 5000 expecting and new moms to get to the heart of what pregnant women know, think, and feel in their first trimester.

The first trimester brings a roller coaster of emotional and physical symptoms-- from excitement and joy to trepidation and...yes, nausea and vomiting. In fact, NVP, or nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (commonly known as morning sickness) hits at least two-thirds of moms-to-be, with 92% of those experiencing that trademark pregnancy symptom not just in the morning, but around the clock in the first trimester. Trying to keep pregnancy a secret from family, friends, and co-workers? Apparently, it isn't easy being green.

"From the moment you see 'pregnant' on the pee stick readout, your life changes forever," says Heidi Murkoff, founder of WhatToExpect.com and author of the best selling What to Expect series of pregnancy and parenting books. "It's an amazing, miraculous moment -- one that fills your heart with joy and your stomach with butterflies, one that sends your mind racing with anticipation...and then, more often than not...sends you running to the bathroom, either to pee or to puke, or both. Our study shows that this exciting time can also be a rough one  -- when expecting moms who haven't yet shared their big news with their network of family and friends look to WhatToExpect.com for the reassurance, information, and empathy they crave, along with an online mom community of millions to connect with...confidentially."

Highlights of the Pregnancy Confidential study findings include:

Facts First

Spilling the Pregnancy Secret Selectively -- and Sooner Than Planned

  • Sharing Early: Of those surveyed, nearly half said that they shared the news earlier than they had expected to (or wanted to).  The top three reasons why: not being able to contain the excitement, having a hard time covering up symptoms of early pregnancy (like nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to smells, urinary frequency and more), and other people guessing the news or worse, spreading it to co-workers and others.
  • Facebook Friends Are the Last to Know: While some pregnant women may be waiting to share the baby news with anyone but their nearest and dearest, more than half are spilling those pregnancy beans within the first trimester. The exception: their Facebook friends. Pregnant women are 3 times more likely to share with strangers online (via online pregnancy communities) than with those they know offline, too, like their Facebook friends.

Morning Sickness: The Real Deal on Nausea and Vomiting

  • It's a Misnomer:  Morning sickness catches first-time pregnant women off-guard -- especially if they're expecting that queasy feeling to wear off daily by lunch time. First trimester moms are as likely to experience morning sickness in the evening as they are in the morning. Almost half experience it at random times throughout the day...and many experience it as 24/7 sickness.
  • It's Something Moms-to-Be "Just Deal With": While more than half of women suffered four or more hours of symptoms every day, 60 percent of women surveyed said that NVP is "just part of pregnancy" – something you just have to suffer through...even if it's taking the joy out of being pregnant.
  • It's Reassuring: 44 percent of first time pregnant women say that symptoms of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy actually provide reassurance that pregnancy is healthy -- and it's true: while it's definitely not inevitable in a healthy pregnancy (about 1/3 of moms never have a queasy moment), the same surging hormones that trigger NVP also help protect a pregnancy.
  • It Has an Impact: 4 in 10 pregnant women say that NVP has adversely affected their performance at work as well as their relationships, leisure time, and social life. One quarter  have missed workdays due to NVP.
  • It Keeps Moms-to-Be Suffering in Silence: 6 in 10 pregnant women say that NVP takes an even greater toll on their emotional health -- because they have to stress the symptoms and worry about keeping them a secret (something that's not easy to do when you're always reeling at the smell of your co-worker's fries, or gagging at meetings, or dashing to the restroom every fifteen minutes).
  • It's Something Moms Don't Have Time For: First-time pregnant women are 42 percent more likely than pregnant women with other children to say that NVP gives them permission to rest and take care of themselves when they're home, while more than half of pregnant moms struggle to "be there" for their family and feel that NVP gets in the way of everyday life.

With a mission to provide parents and parents-to-be the absolute best online resource for pregnancy and parenting, WhatToExpect.com delivers the expert information, invaluable support, must-have resources, and the vibrant, nurturing community moms need every step of their parenting journey -- but especially during that first trimester of pregnancy, when more than half of women surveyed will turn to online resources for advice on dealing with NVP and nearly half will seek support from their online pregnancy community before turning to their family, friend, co-workers, and others.

For more information about Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy as well as strategies for coping with and treating its effects, visit www.WhatToExpect.com/PregnancyConfidential.

Check out what's new on WhatToExpect.com including: Community, Local Groups, Contests and Giveaways, Mobile Apps, Love-it Lists and Word of Mom Blogs.  Join the What to Expect conversation on Facebook, Twitter (@WhatToExpect) and Pinterest.

About WhatToExpect.com 
WhatToExpect.com, published by Everyday Health, Inc., is the online home to Heidi Murkoff's globally recognized parenting and pregnancy brand, WhatToExpect.com®. Offering original content and innovative tools for pregnancy and parenting, every step of the way, the digital reach is over 4 million women through desktop and mobile, with a community activity every 1.5 seconds. Heidi Murkoff, author of the bestselling WhatToExpect.com® series of pregnancy and parenting books, has helped guide more than 40 million families worldwide from conception through the toddler years and beyond. According to USA Today, this parenting book, known as the "Bible" to moms across the world, is bought by 93 percent of all expecting mothers who buy a guide. (Source: comScore)

About Everyday Health, Inc.
Everyday Health is a leading digital health and wellness company. Attracting around 40 million people monthly through its popular websites, mobile applications, and social media presence, Everyday Health inspires consumers to live healthier lives and helps doctors make more informed decisions for their patients. Everyday Health reaches an additional one million viewers per episode through Recipe Rehab, a TV series airing weekly on CBS stations. The company's broad portfolio of products spans the health spectrum, from in-depth medical content for condition prevention and management to healthy lifestyle offerings. Everyday Health was founded in 2002 by CEO, Ben Wolin, and President, Mike Keriakos.

SOURCE Everyday Health, Inc.