As exciting as pregnancy is, it can also be pretty scary — and not just for first time moms. Real moms share what kept them up at night, pre-pregnancy, and how they dealt with their fears.

Fears and worries don't always start when the pregnancy test is positive. For many women, the idea of becoming pregnant is a source of anxiety. Learn how real moms felt about getting pregnant, and discover ways to cope with these common concerns.

Fear of childbirth

I always knew I wanted an epidural and I was always 100 percent okay with that.

The thought of labor intimidates some moms. "I wasn't afraid of pregnancy or of parenting," says mom Tiernan McKay, "but I was afraid of the actual birth. To overcome this fear, I never had any grand illusions of having a natural birth. I always knew I wanted an epidural and I was always 100 percent okay with that. I didn't even entertain my friends who encouraged me to go natural." Focus on a birth plan you're comfortable with. If natural childbirth is something you're interested in, but you're scared of the pain, work with midwives and childbirth educators who can give you coping methods and reasonable expectations.

Fear of being a mom

I felt like I was too selfish to be a mom.

"My biggest fear was just being a parent," says mom Leigh Ann Torres. "I felt like I was too selfish to be a mom. I never played with baby dolls, never babysat, and even as an adult I never fawned over babies. Well into my twin pregnancy, after I knew I was going to quit my job and be a stay at home mom, I sobbed that I was afraid I would be stuck at home with these two babies, and I wouldn't want to be here." You're not alone if you're afraid of being a parent. Remind yourself that many parents feel this way, and that life has a way of easing you into the process one challenge and triumph at a time.

Fear of pregnancy complications

I was more aware of possible complications and worried more about the actual pregnancy than I had the first time.

It's very common to worry about complications and miscarriage even before getting pregnant. "I had a miscarriage between my first and second pregnancies, and that changed the way I worried the second time," says mom Angela Amman, who worried primarily about being a parent during her first pregnancy. "I was more aware of possible complications and worried more about the actual pregnancy than I had the first time." Katie Hurley was also haunted by previous losses. "My first two pregnancies resulted in end of first trimester losses, so I lived in a perpetual state of anxiety for the rest of my family building journey! I relied heavily on long talks with my mom, close friends, and Ellen DeGeneres." Lean on your partner and loved ones as you face these fears.

Fear of infertility

I won't forget the months I spent not knowing where our parenthood dreams were going.

While trying to conceive, infertility is at the front of many women's minds. "I had friends who got pregnant easily and others who struggled through years of infertility, but it didn't seem like there were many in the middle," says mom Laura Tremaine of Hollywood Housewife. "It took me nearly a year to get pregnant with my daughter, and I couldn't stop myself from comparing our situation to every other woman I knew. Now I'm the mom to two beautiful children, but I won't forget the months I spent not knowing where our parenthood dreams were going." Give yourself time to get pregnant, but don't hesitate to talk to your doctor if you think there's a concern.

More on trying to conceive

Improve your fertility with food
Pregnancy tests 101: Best tests and tips
Pregnancy after loss

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Leigh Ann Torres February 07, 2013
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So many fears come into pregnancy! Thanks for sharing these and for letting me give my input.