7 Reasons Why You Might Not Love Being Pregnant

From physical symptoms to psychological struggles to downright nasty strangers, here's why you might not like being pregnant—and why that's totally normal.

napping pregnant woman
Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Girls grow up dreaming that pregnancy is going to be one of the biggest high points in their lives. The reality is many women just don't feel good, especially during the early months. Some women have good weeks and bad weeks, right up to their due dates, and their physical and mental well-being might flip back and forth on an hourly basis. If you're feeling "blah" about pregnancy, don't worry – you aren't alone! Here are seven reasons you might not love carrying a baby.

1. You’re Disappointed

Maybe you desperately wanted a girl and learned you're carrying a boy—or vice versa. Gender disappointment can be a source of sadness and anxiety for some moms, even when they know deep down that the most important thing is incubating a healthy baby.

Or maybe you were excited to find out you were expecting—but soon learned you were carrying not one but two (or more!) babies. "Many families who don't have a long history of twins are often shocked by that second heartbeat during that very first sonogram," says mom of twins Natalie Diaz, author of What to Do When You're Having Two and founder of the website Twiniversity.com. "It's usually unexpected, even with IVF or other fertility treatments, and scary."

Beyond the initial shock, there can be more physical challenges and discomforts when you're carrying multiples—and huge financial, logistical, and health concerns, too. With a multiple-birth pregnancy, parents often have their new life flash before their eyes: double the diapers, double the crayons ... and double the college tuition!

2. You're Super-Anxious

Anxiety can take over, big-time, during pregnancy—especially if you're expecting for the first time or are in a high-risk category. Besides being a general head-trip, knowing there's an actual human being growing inside of you can contribute to exactly the kind of stress that mamas-to-be are told to avoid. Talk about a vicious cycle!

3. You Miss All the Off-Limits Stuff

In short, when you're pregnant, there are a lot of things you're not supposed to do, from consuming alcohol to luxuriating in a super-hot bath, And for some people, that can limit the thrill of the experience – and even cause resentment to build up. That's totally logical and normal!

4. You Have Nothing to Wear

Kim Kardashian nailed it when she complained, "Pregnancy style is hard!" It's expensive and exhausting to buy a whole new wardrobe for a new body—especially when your closet is full of pretty things that express your personality, but which no longer fit. You may think you're done after you pick up a few staples – but then there's a wedding or an important work event, and then what?

5. People Can Be Mean

What is it about a pregnant woman that makes people forget their manners? It's never okay to gawk at a woman's size, or shame her for it—but pregnant women know from experience it happens all the time. And it can be demoralizing, humiliating, or just plain maddening.

6. Pregnancy Side Effects

It's hard to enjoy being pregnant if you feel nauseous all the time. Beyond that, pregnancy comes with a zillion aches, pains, and unfamiliar symptoms. Gas, constipation, back pain, swollen ankles, growing feet, acid reflux, the constant need to pee – and on and on. The baby is totally worth it, of course, but that doesn't make the day-to-day experience any less difficult.

7. Maddening Mood Swings

Pregnancy hormones can trigger a wide range of emotions. The good news, says Christine C. Greves, M.D., an Ob-Gyn at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, is that emotional distress is a totally normal (even logical!) response to what can be an uncomfortable time in life.

Of course, if you truly feel bummed about your pregnancy, be sure to mention your feelings to your healthcare practitioner: You may be suffering from prenatal depression. In fact, Dr. Greves notes that the incidence of mood disorders in pregnancy is actually quite high—and may or may not be related to hormones.

For most women, though, it's okay to simply admit that there are bad days. "Pregnancy is the only normal human condition characterized by pain and discomfort—and it lasts months," she says. "Although there's a lot to celebrate about being pregnant, women can also become anxious about the domestic and personal changes that will occur after they deliver. And naturally, most women are never at peace until their newborn is in their arms and they have counted the fingers and toes."

Complicating your emotions even further may be a general sense of pressure from society to love every moment of the experience. But if you don't? Give yourself a break. You're far from alone. Surround yourself with people who allow you to feel all of your emotions—and people who know just what you're going through.

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