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You've probably stumbled onto something unexpected. As soon as the feelings of excitement, anticipation and joy (or, perhaps, shock and ambivalence) that accompanied your positive pregnancy test recede, you begin experiencing specific concerns about the pregnancy and the enormity of what it means to become a mother. Rest assured you're perfectly normal: Worry, it seems, goes hand in hand with impending parenthood.
But some concerns loom larger than others, depending on where a woman is in her pregnancy. To learn which ones top the list at each stage, we talked to dozens of moms across the country to find out just what made their hearts race when they were expecting (besides the extra blood flow, of course). While we correctly predicted that certain fears would dominate—miscarriage, for instance, and the omnipresent worry about labor—we were off the mark with many other topics. Concerns about a diminished sex life? Wasn't on their radar. Mood swings? Wasn't even mentioned. Worries about their bodies changing? Not so much.
What did resonate with these mothers was an overriding interest in doing the absolute best for their babies, not only in utero but also throughout their children's lives.
To help you handle the issues you may be wrestling with right now and anticipate which ones might be lurking on the horizon, here's a trimester-by-trimester look at some of the most pressing concerns pregnant women face—and expert advice on how to put them into perspective.
Because your journey to motherhood should be just as joyful as what comes after.