9 Fears About Pregnancy + Why It’s Okay

fears about pregnancy, afraid of being pregnant, #pregnancytips, pregnancy tips and thoughts

This post is in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital as part of their empowering women and children site. All thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own. Be sure to check out their site for additional resources and support.

A few years ago during Thanksgiving week I was in the grocery store with my future step-mother-in-law (SMIL for short here on out) when I received a text that a friend had just delivered her baby. I told my SMIL I was happy for my friend, then jokingly said, “Ugh I can't imagine being pregnant. I'm going to make an awful pregnant woman.” She stopped dead in her tracks, did a complete 180, and while wagging her finger in my face scolded me as if I was throwing an irrational temper tantrum in the store. She said, “Stop that right now, you need to chill out.”

Later that night she went to my future husband saying she was concerned about me becoming pregnant and my ability to handle it. It felt like such a sucker punch. I, like most women, have fears about being pregnant. Some of these fears are bigger than others, but as someone living with anxiety, they can feel like mountains at times. My husband has known about my fears for years. They're something we talked about before we got engaged and he has heard them a million times over.

But this exchange made me think, “how many other woman have these fears but feel guilted or shamed by others to stay quiet about them?” I wholeheartedly believe that every time we share a fear or struggle, its grip on us loosens a little bit. The weight of it disperses across others, making it a little less heavy on our soul, and becomes a little easier to cope with. Which is why today I want to share with you all my fears about being pregnant.

Each time we share our fears, the weight of it is shared.Click To Tweet

I also want to preface the fears that will follow by saying: I know the ultimate goal of pregnancy is to have a happy and healthy baby. That is the most important thing. I know some of these fears may seem trivial or even selfish to some. But I think they are fears that a lot of us have and don't feel safe enough to talk about. Which is why I am writing this post. It's not easy and I hope I don't ruffle any feathers by seeming ungrateful or vapid. I know many woman who cannot get pregnant and would die to have these fears as part of their reality. So I guess we will start there…

9 Fears About Pregnancy:

I'm afraid I won't be able to get pregnant.

You see, I have no idea if I can or can't get pregnant because we haven't started to try. The following fears may seem inconsequential to me in the future, but today they are my reality. And while yes, I'm scared of all the things that pregnancy brings, I am also terrified of not being able to get pregnant. I want to bring kids into this world – and do believe that all the other fears I'm about to list are worth leaning into to hopefully bring a little piece of my husband and I into this world. My heart would break if I couldn't have kids. I've seen the pain that my friends have endured with IVF or not being able to get pregnant at all and my heart breaks for them… but I'm also inspired by their strength and courage as they've tried (and all have ultimately been blessed with beautiful families).

I'm afraid of morning sickness.

I'm prone to tossing my biscuits a little more often than the average person, maybe TMI? Sorry! Which leads me to being absolutely terrified of morning sickness. Whenever I have a bad spell, it wipes me out for the entire day. I have no energy, I'm groggy, and basically can't do much except take a bath, nap, and watch tv. I can't imagine having frequent days like that while trying to work (especially when I work from home and I'm sure my bed will look extra inviting!).

I'm afraid of not getting a good nights sleep.

I'm a back sleeper, which I know isn't recommended during pregnancy. When I sleep on my side, it gives me hip and shoulder issues and is generally uncomfortable for me. I'm nervous that I'll be constantly exhausted and also completely unable to sleep. Or that I will sleep, but it will be that irritable, cranky sleep.

I'm afraid of fainting.

I am also super prone to fainting! Fun stuff, right? For as long as I can remember my blood pressure has been on the lower side, which has led to a lot of dizziness and fainting episodes over the years. It's actually pretty common for woman's blood pressure to lower during pregnancy. Most women don't even notice a difference in how they feel when their BP lowers, but for me, I get nervous because of my history which is something I plan to learn more about how to handle if/when I get pregnant.

I'm afraid of feeling out of control.

Okay, I know I can't control all the things in life – but over the years, I've always felt comfort in having some sort of control over my body. The ability to take care of it, nourish it, and set boundaries around it has given me peace of mind. But when you're pregnant, the pregnancy controls your body. Everything from your emotions, to mental fogginess, to physical pain. That's going to be an adjustment for me.

I'm afraid of looking like a house.

Okay, I know the priority is a happy, healthy, baby at the end of the day – and I'm beyond excited to eat for two – but when my mother got pregnant with me, she was a puffy giant mess. I'm not just saying that, she was actually huge – like she gained way more than 60 lbs. For reference, a woman of average weight should gain about 30 lbs during pregnancy – a woman who is underweight should gain about 40. Which leads me to…

I'm afraid of what will happen to my career.

Again I know the ultimate goal is a happy healthy baby – but with the knowledge that I am probably genetically predisposed to put on more weight and puff up more than the average woman, I'm scared to think about what that means for the future of my business. It's part of my job to share photos of my life and create beautiful imagery for brands and more often than not, I'm in those photos.

I see all these cute pregnant woman who look like they just have a ball under their shirt and kind of know that's not going to be my reality. Is this a totally selfish and shallow fear? Possibly. But it's a real one for me and I'm sure other women too.

If we take a step back and think about gaining 60 lbs and going into an office where people start to judge you or think less of you because you're gaining weight and then ultimately because they find out your pregnant, we realize it's not that irrational of a fear. Many women go through it and it does impact our work and how others perceive us in the workplace, both during pregnancy and after. Whether we are in the social media lime light, or at a desk job in corporate America, which is a shame.

I'm afraid for my mental health and the havoc hormones will create.

At 17 years old I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I spent the better part of the last decade on medication, however went off it a few years ago. In the last few years, there have been times where I should've gone back on medication. However chose not to because titrating off was so difficult for me in the past and didn't want to go through that right before trying to get pregnant. I know how difficult it has been to cope at times during these few years, but I've done a good job learning to cope with my anxiety and depression without medication. However add unruly hormones into the mix? Well that's a pretty scary unknown for me.  I'm afraid I won't have the strength to engage in the things I normally do to pull me back.

What if something goes wrong.

This is honestly my biggest fear. The rest is surface stuff that's easier to talk about. I know I'll conquer the other fears. But what if something goes wrong with the pregnancy? I've had a lot of failures in my life and try to always think of failure as a good thing – but I can't help but think what if something goes wrong – will I be the biggest failure? Would I feel like my body betrayed me? Would I feel like I wasn't destined to have kids and give up altogether?

I know these are all just anxious thoughts. And thoughts can change, evolve and grow. But they are thoughts I think plague us as women. I know that no matter what happens I'll find strength to overcome those thoughts, because I'm strong, and I've watched other women overcome them too. But they still linger so I am putting them down on the page so they can't gain strength in the echo-chambers of my mind.

Here's the thing:

Despite these fears, I know I want to walk through them. I know that I want to become a mother some day. Pregnancy is a temporary state, for the ultimate gift of life. I know these thoughts aren't rooted in reality and I could love the feeling of pregnancy! I won't know the truth until I go through this next stage of life.

If you're dealing with these same fears talk with someone about them, because you aren't alone and should never feel ashamed. I believe when we talk about our fears we lessen the grip they hold on us. I believe that it's important to check out sites like Hancock Regional Hospital's, and learn about what the experience will be like and to get support as we go through these changes. If your fears or anxiety persist, I encourage you to seek support groups or talk with your doctors or a counselor. Know that it's normal to lean on others for support.

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54 thoughts on “9 Fears About Pregnancy + Why It’s Okay”

  1. I loooovelovelove this post Rachel and thank you so much for being so raw, honest, and vulnerable. I think a lot of women will be able to relate and connect with these fears. I’m probably the wrong person to be leaving a comment on this because I’ve already decided I don’t want to have kids but I think a big part of not wanting kids are a lot of these fears that you’ve listed. I don’t feel strong or brave enough to fight through these fears and to be quite honest, my mental health is what really concerns me. My mom and dad both have a lot of the same mental illnesses that I struggle with and they weren’t able to manage it and raise us and I just don’t want to do what my parents did to me and my siblings to someone else, you know? Not saying that we are our parents and I also don’t blame my parents and I’m working hard to forgive them… but mental illnesses are diseases and it’s an unknown kind of scary which has made me afraid to have kids.

    1. I totally hear that! I actually have a follow up post in the works about fear of actually having a kid and a lot of it has to do with family and mental health and breaking the cycle! I can totally relate to so many of your fears. Just remember to make whatever decision because it’s right for you and not out of fear <3 Keep taking care of yourself and learning about everything, that's what will make you strong and different from your parents <3 <3 sending you lots of love!

  2. I LOVE this post! Your honestly is amazing and something so many women need to hear. You are so brave for sharing this and I am so glad you did! XO

  3. You totally surfaced the fears I also have in being pregnant – coming from someone who suffers from anxiety as well. And it really doesn’t help that we look into social media and “see” friends, or people we barely know, portray as if pregnancy “ain’t no thang” – that it’s seemingly perfect, and adaptable, and some that they wish they were always pregnant. When ultimately, it’s not for others – especially when I have friends (who don’t turn to SM during their pregnancy at all) and say that it literally sucked the life out of them. And that scares me beyond belief – the “unknown”, so to speak. More and more each day it’s like my mind tries to overcome my fear by telling me, “there are other ways…”, which is so true, if I feel I MUST avoid the whole being pregnant thing. But really, THANK YOU for lifting some of the weight I have on my shoulders for having this fear.

    1. Awe thank you so much for your comment Carissa! I think it’s so easy to get caught up in the SM game and, like you, for most of my friends pregnancy was not a walk in the park. Trust that you are not alone and I think whatever decision you make in terms of pregnancy or something else, it’ll be the right one for you and that’s what is important!

  4. Thank you for being so honest! I’m also scared of the things that might go wrong, what a pregnancy will do to my career. And I’m definitely afraid of feeling out of control and not being able to get pregnant. I sometimes have a not so subtle way of saying things, but I feel like I should be able to expres my fears. In any way. Because they are mine. But I do feel hesitant sometimes, because I know there are people out there who will judge me. And it’s exactly what you say: despite all these fears, I would definitely face them if that means bringing a beautiful child into my life!

  5. THIS. I know pregnancy is supposed to be this amazing experience, but honestly it freaks me out! What if I’m miserable for nine months? What if I make my husband miserable too? I think you really hit the nail on the head though with this: “Pregnancy is a temporary state, for the ultimate gift of life.” Great post!

    1. Girl, i hear you about being freaked out! there was originally a line in this post that went something like, “pregnant women have always freaked me out, its like they’re growing an alien inside of them!” but decided to take that out lol

  6. I can imagine that pregnancy can cause a lot of fears, but your advice to share these fears with others is good. No reason to be alone with your feelings.

  7. Thank you for such a vulnerable post, Rachel. I can resonate with your first point the most – I struggle with being scared that I won’t be able to have kids and it deeply pains me to my core. My heart literally aches when I let my mind wander there. We’re not trying yet – soon, though. I’m just believing and remembering what God has promised me, which brings me so much comfort and peace when my mind starts to run the worry road. That doesn’t mean my mind still doesn’t wander, but I’m grateful for that peace. Again, thank you for opening up, Rachel. So many can resonate!

  8. These are legitimate fears! And I think it’s completely normal to fear the unknown. I was scared to death of being pregnant and during my first pregnancy I felt like I was always walking on eggshells. But you are right when you said “On the other side of fear is something good.” So true! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. Wow, this post is awesome. I have all these fears plus some! I usually feel guilty for even having fears about becoming pregnant, because I want kids in the future. But I get worried the universe won’t allow me to have kids when I’m actually ready! Like that my birth control will mess up my system too much and won’t allow me to have kids… even though that’s all in my head. This post is so relatable, and it’s awesome that you just lay it all out there. It’s hard to be a girl sometimes and be like, well yes I want kids… but not right now. Can’t I have these fears and sort them out as I go along until the time to have kids presents itself? Without people judging or thinking something is wrong? Thanks for this Rachel, it definitely hits home!

  10. I’m on my 3rd pregnancy and I still have fears! Walking through them is so important and not letting them consume me.

  11. I have learned from pregnant friends (we’re not having children) that these are all real and valid feelings. You’re baking a human! I think it’s totally okay to be scared.

  12. Oh yes! This is so true! Being pregnant can be so scary since it comes with so many new things. I always overthink and thinking about the worst case scenario is what I do. It was great to read this post!

  13. Oh my gosh I can so relate to this!! I’ve never had the desire to be a biological mother due to many of these things, haha. I’ve always thought for me personally that adoption or fostering will be the best route. I suppose it will depend once I meet my future husband someday- but I’ve just never wanted biological children. Becoming a mother is such a personal decision, and everyone’s choice should be respected!

  14. This post means the world to me, with the addition of a few added fears for me personally. I can’t express how much I worry about ALL these things that come with pregnancy. I really appreciate you being so honest about all these different things that tie in with a HUGE life change. I’m sure there are MANY people who feel the same way, and they are just simply worried about expressing those emotions.

  15. I feel the EXACT same way. It’s so scary. I know it’s worth it but there are just so many unknowns. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. You hit the nail on the head.

  16. This is such a great post. I have these same fears! I feel like more and more friends are getting pregnant, and I am faced with these same questions. Thank you for sharing your fears publicly! it’s great to hear others have the same worries as me, and we can get through them together one day!

  17. Thanks for sharing this Rach. I feel them SO MUCH. I am terrified of being pregnant even though I know I want to be someday.

  18. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing. I’ve had many of these fears myself. I’m also still struggling with the idea of even having kids ever. I’m not really sure what I want, but a lot of these fears come up when I think about the issue. It’s great to have supportive people in your life who understand and don’t rush you. That’s what luckily keeps me sane!

  19. I couldn’t agree more with most of these! I’m scared about getting pregnant (not that anyone in my family has had issues), I’m not sure how it works when you first find out, I’m worried I’m not going to know soon enough and like drink something to mess up my kid! But we want children so badly one day, and I’m confident that I can conquer these fears with my husband!
    Thank you for writing such an honest post!

  20. Tara Liston Fuller

    I share all of your fears and sentiments. Ive yet to be pregnant and also have depression/anxiety- I’ve often worried how pregnancy would impact that.

  21. Thankfully this is across the table for me haha, but I definitely can relate to your fear and concern – as do most women I think! Honestly, what’s not scary about having a tiny human growing inside of you for 9 months?! That’s pretty freaky! And with so many things that can go wrong, it’s completely understandable to be worried or scared. But like you mentioned, pregnancy is for 9 months – not permanent!

  22. I still have a little while before I start thinking about getting pregnant, but these are things that I question all the time. My co-workers all have children and they have told me stories about their time being pregnant. I’m so nervous about how I’ll feel about myself and how I look. I always say I feel bad for my future husband because he’ll have to put up with all of my pregnancy hormones. I’m sure I’ll be a nightmare. I’m already so emotional. I think it’s important that women acknowledge their fears because everyone is thinking the same thing, and it makes it easier to know that you’re not alone in your way of thinking.

  23. As someone who has two kids – I can honestly say, all of these reasons I feared. I had a miscarriage the first time. When I got pregnant the second time with my oldest, the day I went into labor, I had to get an emergency c-section. Sadly we both didn’t have a heart beat for a minute because of the amount of blood I lost, I had to get a blood transfusion. Then the second time I got pregnant, I nearly fainted because my youngest was taking all of my red blood count cells so I had to get 2 blood transfusion during my pregnancy. These are all things I had no control over and it really messed me up mentally. But I was happy to have my family around to help.

    1. Oh my gosh Jasmine, I had no idea! Thank you so much for sharing <3 I can totally see how that would mess someone up. I'm happy you are okay and have such a beautiful family today! It's inspiring to hear/see how far you've come because you would never know from the outside looking in!

  24. Lauren Falardeau Pariseau

    Ugh, I hated being pregnant the first time. I talked to other mom’s and they were like “I LOVED being pregnant. Isn’t it the best?!” And here I am like, “uh, no. I look fat, not pregnant. I’m angry all of the time, and I’m awake from 2-5am every night. This is NOT great.” BUT here I am 3 years later trying for number 2 and very much looking forward to it. We all have our fears and insecurities, especially when a major life change is happening. No matter how hard pregnancy is the end result is worth it 1000 times.

  25. DANG it’s like I’m reading a script of the inside of my own mind. GIRL. SAME. Also I’m prone to fainting, too. But really, how the heck are we supposed to control how we sleep? Isn’t that, yannno, sorta outta our control once we’re out?? Ha! Ugh. Let’s commiserate.

  26. I really appreciate you writing this post because so many of us ladies have fears about pregnancy (or even may not be excited when they first find out they are pregnant) and it is such a sitgma to not embrace pregnancy at its finest. I have so many of these fears and some other ones, too.

  27. Oh. My. Gosh. I’m so happy you shared this. The talk of starting a family comes up more & more lately, but I literally bring up every fear you listed to my husband when we’re alone. I even have the fear of fainting (I’m a fainter, too, even passed out at my college graduation during the National Anthem). But talking about them has already eased some of the anxiety. I feel selfish, guilty, and dramatic sometimes, so reading this made me feel normal and I’m so glad you posted it. I don’t know if I would have had the guts to write about it, but now I feel like I can tell anyone, because I’m not alone on these feelings.

    1. Awe, i feel like it’s because we just had our anniversaries! haha! I really am surprised that so many other people have the fear of fainting!! I totally felt selfish and guilty and dramatic too! Reading through everyone’s comments has made me feel SO much better though <3

  28. Everybody has concerns when it comes to pregnancy. I had different concerns each time. The funny thing is before I got pregnant with my first, and actually even until I was about 13 weeks pregnant, I was terrified of the pain of childbirth and insisted that I would have an epidural and any other pain relief they were willing to give me. But then I met a lovely midwife who allayed all my fears and helped me to change my mind… I ended up giving birth completely naturally… 3 times. And on my last, my 4th, I had an epidural just to see what it was like! Good luck to you

    1. What was the epidural like?!? I actually think I would want a natural birth! I have a really high pain tolerance, and the body doens’t remember pain anyway, so that doesn’t really freak me out. The idea of feeling paralyzed actually freaks me out more! haha

  29. My husband and I are contemplating trying to have another child, we have a 20 year old daughter, and this post hit the nail on the head about some of the fears I have!

  30. This was such a good read and I could relate to SO much of this. My bf are at that point where we are seriously talking marriage and my doc has already given me the ‘better-get-knocked-up-sooner-than-later’ lecture so trying to get pregnant will be in the very near future for me. I think morning sickness is one of my biggest fears– I’m like you (and have been prone to fainting and dizziness too!) so I feel like pregnancy could be hell for me. Thanks for sharing this, it’s nice to know there’s others out there that relate.

  31. I don’t think any of these fears are selfish or shallow; they’re all genuine fears that I’m sure many have. I give you props for sharing all of these fears with your readers. I also worry that I won’t get any sleep for 9 months. I sleep on my stomach which is obviously not an option when pregnant. Sleeping on my side also gives me such hip pain. I also worry about hormones as I have a history of being sensitive to hormone changes (thanks birth control!).

  32. I’m nowhere near thinking about trying for a baby BUT I know I will have all of these fears if/when that time comes for me. I think women should be able to talk about their fears especially with other women who have probably felt the same way.

  33. I hear you on so many of these. And honestly, some of these fears have come true for us. Infertility and the lack of being able to control that has been incredibly hard. I never thought we would struggle with it, but now years later, I realize it’s not uncommon and I feel like I was so naive before. Not to sound wompy – and I never talk publicly about it – but these are all valid in one way or another because we’ve heard of them “happening” to other people, I think. But just remember that your story will be your own. Regardless of what that looks like with the ups and downs, it will be as it was meant to be!

  34. As a mother of 3… I can totally attest to the fact that some of these fears are totally legitimate. Others are not. I gained 60lbs with 2 of my pregnancies (and im slightly overweight to begin with) but I still lost most of it each time. And with a little work, and time (and breastfeeding) I lost the rest. But even so… you can still create some beautiful photos with a little chub going on. Lots of us do it. 😉

    But as far as having to carry on while nauseous, and exhausted, and anxious… that doesn’t go away after pregnancy. Those are some of the realities of motherhood. One thing I’ve always tried to express on my blog is the crazy and emotional balancing act that is motherhood. Its the hardest and best thing you’ll ever do. 🙂

  35. This a good and brave post. Thank you for sharing even though I am no where near ready to start a family I do have similar fears of pregnancy. It was very nice to read that these fears are normal for a woman.

  36. Thanks for sharing. 🙂 I understand, I’m currently single but would like to have a baby in the future, if/when I meet the right man. I sometimes worry that if I do make that decision I won’t be able to get pregnant and also there are “scare stories” about leaving it too late.

    I have anxiety, depression an OCD and also have a fear of losing control. And it’s a worry about how it might affect my mental health. I think a lot of women have these fears, so thanks for providing a place to talk about them. 🙂

  37. I have these fears and more!! My husband and I would love to have children one day, but working through all these fears is the first step. Thanks for sharing this!

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