Skip to main content

10 Things Pregnant Women Obsess About

Rachael is a mom, hobby photographer, and digital designer. She is a freelancer graphic designer with over 8 years of experience.

Being pregnant can make some women develop a form of OCD that I didn't even realize existed until I became pregnant. We all know what OCD is, the disorder in which people perform rituals to eliminate, at least temporarily, the anxiety in their lives.

People who suffer from OCD can also be known to obsess about certain things for a prolonged period of time. Now that I am nearing the home stretch in my first pregnancy, let me give those newly pregnant women some things to look forward to.

Pregnancy takes over your brain. I have noticed that I have thought things or worried over things that might otherwise have been something I would not have worried about.


1. Toilet Paper Ritual

This is a ritual that women do pretty early on when they find out they're pregnant. It stems from an innate fear of having a miscarriage. Whether you have lost a child before or not, this ritual is bound to play even the smallest factor in your pregnancy early on.

It involves going to the restroom, and every time you wipe, you check. You literally pull the toilet paper out in your hand and stare at it. It's almost as if you have become a scientist who is trying to determine the properties of your pee. You must analyze everything in there.

In the first trimester and well into my second trimester, I was doing this constantly. For fears of miscarriage are common nowadays, and women are having more and more trouble getting pregnant, I see the rationale behind it. If there is any sign of blood or discharge that isn't usually there, you can catch it and call the doctor ASAP. However, I have also found that too much checking of the toilet paper just makes bathroom breaks more stressful.

2. Everyone Is Staring at/Talking About Me (AKA: Paranoia)

When you become pregnant, especially after you announce you are expecting a little bundle of joy, suddenly you get this strange feel everyone is staring at you. It becomes more prevalent in the later months after your belly has gotten much bigger and you can't hide it anymore.

I know that I have begun to think that everyone simply talks to my stomach. They find it hard to look me in the eye; they are forever glancing at my belly. When I am wandering about around work, I also find myself wondering if this or that person is talking about me.

Pregnant women encounter all sorts of unsolicited advice and if you don't heed whatever advice you have been given, suddenly it feels like everyone is watching and talking about everything you do.

3. Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?

Self-esteem is hard to come by for any woman. When you are pregnant, this becomes more of an issue. Suddenly, your body has been taken over by a growing baby who just keeps stretching out your stomach and making you more and more round by the minute.

This obsession will hit every pregnant woman at least once in their pregnancy. That first time you go to put on your favorite jeans and realize that you can't button them anymore. When you go to put on your shoes, and your feet are too swollen to slip right in. When putting on shoes becomes an Olympic sport because you have to wrestle your feet up to the proper height to even put those shoes on.

Some women gain more weight than others, and like everything else with pregnancy, this obsession is different for every woman experiencing it. Perhaps the comments of your' filling out' might bring you to tears. The comments on how much you 'waddle' now might cause you to envision the commentator's head on a platter.

Whatever the worries you have about pregnancy weight and how it makes you look, try to remember that you are making a baby, and it's hard work. Stress less about the weight and more about the health of the baby. At least, it works for me.

4. Am I Going to Have to Go Naked?

When your bump gets to be too big for your normal clothing and you can't button those jeans and you can't stretch that shirt anymore, you start thinking that nothing you ever wear will fit you again. Money is tight, at least for me, and maternity clothes are outrageously expensive.

You would think since I am carrying a child into this world and I have enough to deal with; people would just hand me clothes for pennies on the dollar and congratulate me for my blessing. No, instead, they take advantage of the fact that I have no other choice but to buy their overly priced, poorly made maternity clothes.

Otherwise, I have to go around naked, and who really wants to see the pregnant lady walking around town naked? Then, not only would I have nothing to wear, but I would be arrested—all in a glorious day of being pregnant.

So, I will buy your maternity clothes, but I will first try to borrow from friends, bargain at garage sales, and peruse the thrift store shops.

5. What Kind of Parent Will I Be? Am I Ready for This?

At the beginning of pregnancy, women may not really think about this fact, at least not right away. First-time mommies-to-be are more interested in the other aspects of being pregnant. Some are dealing with morning sickness and fretting over their growing waistline.

This obsession hit me more recently when I entered my third trimester. It suddenly became very real that I was going to be a mother, and I was going to be in charge of the life of another human being—a very tiny, very vulnerable, very needy human being. I started to wonder if I had the patience for this. Where was the money going to come from? Was I really ready to take on this responsibility of another life for the next eighteen years of my own life?

The thing I came to realize is that I planned for this child, I worked very hard to get the pieces of my life in order to have her. Now that she is almost here, of course, it's scary, and it might be a little overwhelming, but in the end, I will be the best mother I know how to be. She will be loved no matter what.


6. How Will the Baby Look and Act?

Carrying a child for 40 weeks, a woman is bound to grow an attachment to that little wiggly baby in her belly. You start to wonder what the baby will look like and start making up scenarios in your head. You start to envision how the baby will act or grow once outside the womb.

I know that I have pictured, in my own mind, how my little girl will look when I first see her. In fact, I have played out the scene of her birth over and over in my head and practiced how I will see my baby for the first time. I have played home videos of her first steps, her first day of school, her first lost tooth, all in my head before I go to sleep at night.

I take comfort in the fact that I am not the only pregnant woman on the planet concerned about whether my baby will come out with a birth defect or if she will be the prettiest baby in the playgroup.

7. Counting the Kicks

This starts out as simply wanting to know when the baby's first flutters will start. Pregnant women will start trolling the forums and googling everything they can on when that first flutter is supposed to start. It doesn't matter if every baby is different for different women. It doesn't matter if each answer they get contradicts the next. Every little movement or twinge around the belly area suddenly becomes a movement the baby is making.

When the baby is finally big enough for the woman to know for sure that the baby is moving, this obsession then moves to the next stage. Is the baby kicking enough? Is it ok if the baby is kicking on one side and not the other? What the heck is going on in there?!

Once you hit the third trimester, your doctor may suggest that you start counting the kicks of the baby each morning and night. This becomes a ritual; you eat a little something, lie back and wait. If the baby doesn't start doing ninja karate moves within the first few minutes, you start to worry.

If the baby does start kicking up a storm, you wonder if you have a champion boxer in there . . . or an octopus because that baby kicks in the weirdest places all at the same time.

8. Was That a Contraction or Just Constipation?

The closer my due date gets, the closer I am to having this baby. Do I want to have the baby in the middle of the bathroom floor at work. Absolutely not. Do I want to have the baby in the backseat of my ridiculously beat-up car? Again, that's a no.

This is the one thing that I really can't control. I don't plan to be induced if I can help it, and that means that I have become really vigilant about the aches and pains and movements in the womb. I have no idea what a contraction is supposed to feel like.

Of course, I have, like most pregnant women, googled the subject and inquired with my doctor, but in the end, I am still confused. Considering that there are REAL contractions and there these tricky things I was reading about Braxton Hick's contractions.

How the hell are you supposed to know when to go to the hospital? Not to mention in the end, she's coming when she wants to come and I don't really have a say. Taking the control out of my hands leaves me fretting. Soon, I may just go to sleep in my clothes, shoes on my feet, and suitcase at the door.


9. I Have to Push This Baby Out of Where?!

This obsession is one that I am dealing with right now. This obsession can lead to new obsessions that have a direct link to this one and the worries and stress can snowball into a chaotic mess if you let it. I didn't really think about the labor and delivery part of this pregnancy when we decided to have a baby.

Now that she is almost here, it's pretty obvious; she has to come out somehow. None of the options presented to me have been very enticing. I get to push her out of a hole the size of a pea, or I can have someone cut me open. Personally, I like the idea where you lay back, and she just appears. Like in a stork's blankets or something, just appears on my front porch. However, that's not going to be the case.

So, of course, now I have to wonder how this process will work. Will it be something I can handle? I am not really pain tolerant; well, I don't tolerate pain at all. So, then I started researching all the options of pain medication, and then I had to wonder if I was not woman enough to have a baby.

There are plenty of women out there that don't have to use medication, and they do just fine; maybe I will be bad at having a baby. Then I told myself to "SNAP OUT OF IT" women have babies in different ways every day, and every one of them is a hero for giving birth in their own way.

10. I'm The Only One Who Knows What It Feels Like

When you are pregnant and worrying, stressing, and obsessing about every little thing, it can feel like you are the only one on the planet who has ever felt this way. When you are tired and cranky, and everyone else is looking at you sideways like you are a time bomb ready to explode, it can feel like no one understands.

We have to remember that we are not the only women in the world who are currently pregnant and certainly not the first to be pregnant. There are people out there that can help, people who can support you and ease your fears and obsessions when it comes to being pregnant. You are not alone, and though it may come as a surprise, there are people feeling exactly like you are in this exact moment.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on February 20, 2016:

Congratulations for the HOTD!

I can relate to so many of your points when I was pregnant long back. I think every girl wants to be the best when it comes to motherhood because a sense of protection and responsibility grips her like never before.

Thanks for sharing this helpful hub for future mothers!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on February 20, 2016:

Congrats on HOTD and congrats on first child in 2011. This is so insightful to read about what every pregnant mother would feel like and fear. Thanks for sharing.

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on August 10, 2014:

I know right?!

Zoë from banbury on August 02, 2014:

Toilet paper ritual is 100% spot on!

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on February 08, 2014:

@jlpark - I laugh at that one too!! I'm glad you are doing well and things look like they are looking up for you on the baby front :) Congratulations!

Jacqui from New Zealand on February 07, 2014:

Rgarnett - I had to laugh out loud at your first on the list! Partiularly cause it was first - it is so me!! I am currently 33wks pregnant, but suffered a miscarriage with our first at 6 weeks, so yes, I checked to start with. THEN, had a bleed at 26weeks (Xmas eve would you believe!), so have continued this somewhat reassuring habit of mine - no blood, I'm happy. I don't find it a stressful thing, more a "right, all is well, I shall be on with my day". It was nice to know that I'm most definitely not the only one!.

Very good hub. Thanks!

JPPhilips from SC Piedmont Area on February 17, 2013:

cute and true. I love this

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on July 22, 2012:

@jpcmc - Thanks for commenting on this hub as well! I am glad you are reading so many. It warms my heart to get new readers. I have been far too busy to be on here regularly, but thanks again for the appreciation!

JP Carlos from Quezon CIty, Phlippines on June 14, 2012:

I've never been pregnant and i hope i don't. I'll leave that to my wife. Our baby just turned 1 last may and it was a delightful experience. Looking back at the 9 months my wife was prgnant, it was time we both were anxious and excited at the sme time. I personally feared the idea of my wife going through a lot of pain. I have a new found respect for mothers after seeing my wife go through pregnancy. To all moms out there, great job!

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on January 14, 2012:

@mommygonebonkers - Thanks so much for stopping by and reading. I enjoyed your comments, thank you so much for sharing them. :)

mommygonebonkers on January 13, 2012:

Awesome! Everybody feels the same, and it's great to see it all laid out! I felt the "Was that a contraction or just constipation" with my 2nd, because he was 2 weeks LATE, not 2 weeks early as everyone in the world told me he would be, so every weird sensation was a contraction in my mind and every "leakage" was my water breaking LOL

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on December 31, 2011:

@Dawn Conklin - Thanks for sharing your story and your kind, encouraging words. Happy New Year to you as well!

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on December 31, 2011:

@Dawn Conklin - Thanks for sharing your story and your kind, encouraging words. Happy New Year to you as well!

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on December 31, 2011:

@comfortB - You are not alone, I certainly do worry I will go into labor in the oddest of places! Thanks for sharing your story, you definitely made me smile.

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on December 31, 2011:

@steve orion - Thanks for reading and commenting, I am glad you found the hub interesting, I am always happy to see new readers!

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on December 31, 2011:

@justateacher - I am glad I could bring some fond memories back for you!

Dawn Conklin from New Jersey, USA on December 31, 2011:

Great hub and yes these are all perfectly normal! I felt these with my first as many (probably all) pregnant women do. When I had my first daughter, I was in labor for 33 hours-not to scare you this was from first contraction to birth. When I first started to feel the contractions, they felt like menstrual cramps only slightly different. Doc wanted me to walk after contractions started. I was told to walk as much as I could so that is what I did. I did laps (walked forever) in an apartment complex parking lot. I walked most of the day. Late that night I went to the hospital and still had plenty of time to delivery. I didn't use pain medicine myself but would never say that any woman who chooses to is any less of a woman. We all have different pain thresholds and some like me are just a little crazier then others. There are many options for pain and you do not have to go with epidural if you do not want to. There are other options for the pain, however I believe you only have up to a certain point in labor to opt for the epidural (when they asked if I wanted one they told me it was now or not happening.)

You will be strong and will do great! Whether you opt for pain medication or not does not make you more or less of a woman. You have to be comfortable as best as you can be. Happy New Year :)

Comfort Babatola from Bonaire, GA, USA on December 31, 2011:

You've done a great job with this. Right on target with every obsession.

I frequented the stores (grocery, dept.) a lot. It was my way of getting some exercise. Being so petite, my tommy was so big and the kicks so frequent that sometimes while I'm standing in line at the grocery/dept. store and leaning on something, you can actually feel/see the baby pushing/kicking at my skin in protest especially if I'm leaning on something that feels cold to the touch. I always obsessed over what if the baby decides to come out while I'm in the stores. All this people will get to see me naked?

Steve Orion from Tampa, Florida on December 31, 2011:

Interesting Hub and useful for women who're expecting!

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on December 31, 2011:

Great hub for expectant helps when you know that other people are thinking the same things and worrying about the same things. It has been over 25 years since I gave birth and you brought all those memories back!

Marissa from United States on December 31, 2011:

What a great movie! It's funny; my daughter came three weeks early, and when I was in labor with her at home, I didn't believe it until a movie came on the TV with Robin Williams as a doctor saying something like "It's a full moon; everyone is having babies!". I took that as a sign that I was actually in labor. ;)

You'll know. Real contractions are definitely different from Braxton Hicks. And if you're not sure, call you doctor anyway. Better to be safe than sorry.

Again, good luck!

Rachael Fields (author) from KC, MO on December 31, 2011:

@ThePracticalMommy - I am so glad that someone clarified that for me. I tell you what, that is by far my most common obsession right now. Its good to know that my suspicions about the movies were correct though, I don't want to have any 'father of the bride' moments :P

Marissa from United States on December 31, 2011:

Great hub! I went through these things with my first pregnancy, especially the contraction confusion. You'll know when it's time. Keep your bags packed and ready. It doesn't always happen like it does in the movies: babies, especially for first time moms, don't come out quickly. After an hour of contractions that are regular and 5 minutes or less apart, call the hospital.

Good luck with everything! Voted up and sharing. :)