Congratulations, you're expecting! The excitement of pregnancy and getting ready for your new arrival is great, but what about after the baby is here? Most women experience some level of apprehension about becoming a mom. We asked some pregnant women what they fear the most about impending motherhood.

From worries about how pregnancy will change their bodies to concerns about making it all work, first-time pregnant moms are full of questions. See what these women are thinking as they prepare for the most important job of their lives.

Baby on board

Lauren Aboulessan is a publicist as well as a first-time pregnant mom-to-be. "I am only about 10 weeks pregnant now, so I'm not yet showing," she shares. "I am very worried about my body changing and how it will be to have my belly grow to be 8 and 9 months pregnant." Lauren is a bit intimidated when she sees pregnant women with huge bellies, and worries how her own body is going to change and stretch.

Stef Woods is a writer and professor, who has a different fear about her pregnancy. "In terms of major fears, I have only one," she shares. "As a breast cancer survivor who finished treatment less than two years ago, I fear that my cancer will return and I will not be around to watch her grow up." Stef shared her pregnancy fears in a post on her blog City Girl Blogs earlier this year.

Delivery time

I worry about getting caught in traffic on the way to the hospital to deliver!

When it comes time to deliver the baby, there are also worries. "You hear horror stories about the delivery and how so often things can go wrong or emergencies can arise," says Lauren. "Not to mention the labor pains and the epidural. Woods also has concerns that she won't have the strength to care for her baby after a C-section and that she will be sleep-deprived.

Kelly LeGendre, founder of Happy Mama Healthy Baby has some thoughts and concerns about delivery. "Even though the birth itself doesn't seem that scary to me anymore — I'm planning a natural birth at a birth center — but who knows what will happen during labor?" she says. "Will I have to go to the hospital? If I do, will we have to stay there for an extended time period?" She has two friends with recent births who developed complications and the uncertainty involved with the whole birth process is unsettling.

Help, or not?

I'm scared that we're going to need help and won't be able to get it after making our initial wishes known.

Everyone has an opinion on how much help you will want after you are home with your newborn baby. Especially with your first, it is difficult to know in advance what will help you the most. LeGendre says, "I've heard such differing opinions on whether people have wanted visitors and/or help in the weeks following the birth that I'm nervous about making the wrong decision. Right now our plan is to allow visitors at the birth center or hospital, but then to ask everyone to stay away for two weeks while my husband and I acclimate to our new reality," she says.

Career concerns

As I prepare to be a first-time mom, I occasionally worry about not being able to effectively juggle all my professional responsibilities with motherhood.

Whether you plan to return to your career full time, or are changing to a flexible work situation, most women have concerns about how motherhood will affect them in the workplace. "All of my friends who are working moms seem to feel guilty that they're letting their children and employers down," she says.

Heather Whaling, president of Geben Communication, shares her feelings about being a business owner and pregnant with her first child. "I'm learning first-hand that women face competing pressures to be a good mom and an ambitious career person in ways that men don't," she says. "As you can guess, not one single person has asked my husband — who also owns his own rapidly growing business — when he'll slow down. Or, how much paternity leave he'll take after the baby's birth. Or, how the baby will force him to adjust his travel or work habits," she says. Heather recently launched a new site, Define Your All as part of her journey into motherhood.

what about you?^ What fears or concerns bothered you when you were pregnant with your first?

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