You see two pink lines and suddenly your mind will never be clear again. Being pregnant brings a million questions to the surface of your mind at an instant. Throughout your pregnancy you are going to ask yourself so many pregnancy questions that your brain will start to hurt. Today we are going to tackle 21 pregnancy questions that every new mama-to-be is asking herself.
Please note: The views on this website are personal opinions only and do not represent the opinions or policies of any provider or institution that I am affiliated with. I am not giving medical advice. Information on this website is not intended to diagnose, or treat any form of any disease. This article is for informational and entertainment purposes only. I am only telling you what my experiences are. Please refer to my Disclaimer Page for more information
This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more here
Pregnancy Questions You've Been Asking Yourself
I'm just like you, girl. During each of my pregnancies I had pregnancy questions swirling around in my mind the entire time. If you're anything like most new moms, some of these pregnancy questions are going to sound really familiar.
1. Am I supposed to be doing something now that I know I'm pregnant?
When I got pregnant for the first time, I took a pregnancy test and waited anxiously and excitedly for it to turn positive while leaning over the test on the kitchen counter. The second that it showed positive, I paced the house in disbelief wondering “what now?”.
When you find out you're pregnant, your world has turned upside down and everything is suddenly different.
Two minutes ago you were living your life per usual because you weren't pregnant yet in your mind. And now? Now you know that life is growing inside of you and it feels like you should be doing something about it.
Most of the time, you're going to continue doing exactly what you were doing ten minutes ago.
Being pregnant does not change your entire lifestyle in a moment. The biggest thing that you need to remember is to only do the things that are nurturing your body and stop the things that are hurting it. Rest and good nutrition are at the top of the list.
Trust me, there is a checklist full of pregnancy to-do's that you'll need to keep track of, but take it one day at a time. Celebrate the little moments as they come and tackle the big stuff when you're ready.
2. What do I need to avoid now that I'm pregnant?
This is probably one of the first pregnancy questions that you had because you have been made to believe that pregnancy is fragile and you can easily “mess it up”. Take a breath because the list of things you should avoid isn't as long as you might think.
Some of the things that you need to avoid while pregnant are obvious and I don't even need to tell you. But I will tell you anyway just so you can mark them off of the list and feel like you are definitely doing something right for your pregnancy right now.
Here is a list of don'ts to keep in mind throughout your pregnancy:
- Don't drink alcohol or use tobacco
- Don't use elicit drugs or abuse over the counter medications
- Avoid heavy lifting or straining your body beyond what's comfortable
- Avoid contact with cat litter
- Stay away from extreme heat from saunas, jacuzzis, or hot baths
- Avoid the foods not recommended in pregnancy
- Limit caffeine intake to 200 mg or less a day
3. When will I have my first prenatal appointment?
Did you call to get an appointment five seconds after you found out you were pregnant? I get it.
Unfortunately though, many pregnancy clinics and obgyn offices are not in the business of seeing every pregnant woman immediately after they find out their pregnant.
Instead, your doctor will probably want to see you for the first time somewhere between 8 and 11 weeks pregnant. This time period can fluctuate based on office availability, your past medical history, and your current symptoms.
If it feels like your first appointment is an eternity away, try not to worry. Getting to the doctor will not affect the health of your pregnancy as long as you are following the basic pregnancy guidelines and avoiding the things listed above.
I know that you want reassurance, but your pregnancy will have the outcome that it's going to have (good or bad) regardless of if you get to the doctors office early or right at the end of your first trimester.
Hang in there!
4. When will I see my baby for the first time?
Your first ultrasound may or may not reveal your baby to you, believe it or not. Depending on how many weeks you are when you get to the doctors office for the first time, you may not see anything more than an empty sac on ultrasound. OR a sac with a sliver of a baby that you can hardly see.
When I was pregnant for the first time, I asked one of the doctors at work to scan me at 6 weeks pregnant. Although it was exciting to confirm the pregnancy, all I saw was a sac with a tiny little grain of rice that was my baby. Two weeks later, when I should have been 8 weeks pregnant, I had my first official OB appointment and my doctor told me that I was measuring 6 weeks. It was terrifying. It wasn't until two weeks after that when I got a serial ultrasound that I finally felt like I saw my baby. That baby is now my 3 year old, Logan.
With my second pregnancy, I saw an empty sac at my first ultrasound at 6 weeks. That baby grew until 13 weeks. I saw him on ultrasound at 12 weeks when he looked like a real baby, wiggling and jumping around in my belly. That pregnancy ended when a perfectly formed fetus was delivered at 13 weeks.
Finally, with my third pregnancy that resulted in my sweet baby Elliot who is now 7 months old, our first ultrasound was around 8 weeks. We saw the heartbeat right away but I still longed for my second ultrasound when I get to see growth. At 12 weeks I got an ultrasound where I finally felt like I was looking at my baby that I would eventually hold in my arms.
You might not feel like you've really seen a baby in your womb until 11 weeks or so. At that point, the baby that you see on ultrasound is more recognizable as a baby and less of a blob or a gummy bear.
5. When am I going to start showing?
In my personal opinion, the most exciting pregnancy milestones are:
- The moment when you first hear baby's heartbeat
- When your bump pops out
- When you start to feel your baby move
That moment when you finally start to show is kind of hard to predict and hard to recognize for some people.
It might seem light right away, early in the first trimester, you begin to feel like your pants are a little tighter, your shirts just don't fit the same, and you aren't sure if your belly has already grown a bit. Well, most likely, all that is a consequence of that first trimester bloat. We all get it and it's not always cute.
I hated feeling so bloated in my first trimester because although I looked different from what I was used to, I knew it wasn't actually my uterus poking through.
Your uterus might actually have grown enough to start poking through around 12 – 16 weeks. If you've had a baby before, you can expect that this time, you might start showing significantly earlier than you did with your first. Your uterus has muscle memory 😉.
6. What can I do to keep my baby safe and healthy?
You've been wondering this from the very beginning, haven't you? I know. It's because you're an incredible mother and you care deeply about keeping your unborn baby as safe and healthy as possible.
There are a few things that you can do to give your baby the best chance possible:
- Take your prenatal vitamin every day. Preferably one with folate as opposed to folic acid.
- Stay active throughout your entire pregnancy. Go on walks, go swimming, or maintain a modified version of your typical exercise routine.
- Get the rest you need. Take naps when you need them. Kick your feet up when you need to.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water every single day.
- Eat small, balanced meals throughout the day. Try to avoid too much processed food.
- Sleep on your side. Preferably the left side, but either side is honestly fine.
- De-stress as much as possible. Practice self-care as much as possible to keep your stress levels low.
- If you believe in a higher power, pray for your pregnancy and your baby endlessly.
- Stop worrying about what you're doing wrong. Babies and pregnancies are not as fragile as what it seems. Your baby is resilient and so are you. Stop worrying about how you've “messed up” or what you've “done wrong” so far. Do your best every single day and be proud of the mother that you already are.
7. Who do I go to if I have pregnancy questions?
When you have pregnancy questions, who do you go to? Do you call your bff who recently had a baby? Do you call your mom? Are you employing Dr. Google?
All of those things are appropriate at different times.
If you have a “Did you experience this too?” type question, seeking answers and a sense of community from your friends or online forums full of moms in the same boat is you is perfectly appropriate. Sometimes we just need another mama to say “oh, yeah. That totally happened to me”. I get that.
It's also natural to get advice from your mom or mother figure in your life. You know that they did this at least once before and might have the clarity that you're looking for. Just remember, a lot has changed since your mom had you. New research has been done, new findings have been discovered, and what is recommended for pregnant woman has changed. Some things, though, are absolutely instinctual and those things are perfect to go to your mom for.
Dr. Google is also super-helpful at times, right? Everyone googles their pregnancy questions at one point or another. I just hope that you take information that you find online with a grain of salt. A lot of articles online are from people with absolutely no leg to stand on when it comes to answering pregnancy questions. Remember, just because someone has been pregnant before and they had a healthy baby DOES NOT mean that you should be taking advice from them when it comes to your own pregnancy. Really think about what gives this website or this person online the privilege of influencing your decisions that you'll have to live with for the rest of your life.
Your provider should always be at the top of the list when it comes to asking pregnancy questions. Your own provider is the one who knows the most about your medical history, your pregnancy, and your baby so far (apart from you, obviously). Call your doctor's office or shoot him/her an email to discuss what's on your mind. If they can't reassure you digitally, make an extra appointment to see them so that you can get your questions answered.
Your hospital's labor and delivery unit is a hub for answers to all of your pregnancy questions. Especially later on in pregnancy, calling labor and delivery to speak to a nurse is always appropriate. Most hospitals have a way for you to reach out to a labor and delivery nurse who can answer your pregnancy questions, give you advice, and let you know if you should come in to be seen or how you can treat your problem at home. Thank goodness for labor and delivery nurses, right!? (Ok, fine, so I'm totally biased). 😉
Do you wish you had a mom friend who's done this before? How about one who just so happens to be a labor & delivery nurse?
I'm here for you, mama! Of course I am always available to answer your pregnancy questions to the best of my ability. Sign up for my FREE Week by Week Pregnancy Email Course to get the scoop on what's going on, what you should be doing, and how you can make the most out of your pregnancy every single week from now until you deliver. Not only will you get an email every weekend tailored to where you are in your pregnancy, you'll also have VIP access to me in case you need a little words of wisdom.
8. Am I gaining the appropriate amount of weight?
You might already be aware of how much weight you should gain in total during your pregnancy. But how are you supposed to know if you're on track?
Your provider might have let you know that you're expected to gain 25-35 lbs if you are at a “normal” weight for your height prior to pregnancy. If you're underweight, she may have told you to gain 28-40 lbs and if you're overweight the goal is about 15-25 lbs. Sound familiar?
But when you're 20 weeks pregnant and half way through pregnancy, does that mean that you should have gained exactly half of that number? Should you be gaining a consistent amount each week throughout your pregnancy?
Actually, in your first trimester, your baby doesn't weigh much at all and your uterus hasn't grown enough to pack on the pounds either. During the first 14 weeks or so, you should only gain about 3-5 lbs. If you are suffering from morning sickness or aversions, it's normal to not gain any weight or even lose a few pounds during this time. Don't worry! As soon as those first trimester symptoms subside, your weight gain will probably get on track just as it should.
In the second and third trimesters, if you are gaining about one pound per week, you're right on track. Like I mentioned earlier, it all depends on your BMI prior to pregnancy. But as a general rule, a pound a week from 14 weeks on is about right.
Some weeks, of course, will be different than others. In the early third trimester, the weight might really start to climb as baby grows but then in your ninth month when you find it hard to eat a lot for lack of room in your belly, weight gain might start to taper off again.
9. Why is it so hot in here?
Is the heater on in here? Or is it just me?
It's just you, girl. You're pregnant.
When you're pregnant, you have an increased blood volume. The amount of blood in your system may have increased by about 50%! That's a lot of extra blood.
In order to accommodate the extra volume, your blood vessels have had to dilate and come to the surface, causing you to feel hot all of the time.
Your metabolism is also on high gear during pregnancy. Even at rest you are working hard to make a human. All that work is what's making you sweat.
Want to know something else that's lovely? Hot flashes don't go away immediately after birth. At least not if you're breastfeeding.
If you choose to breastfeed, your metabolism will continue to run high as you make milk to sustain a newborn. With that work plus all of the hormone fluctuations, hot flashes will be a part of your life for a couple more months postpartum as well.
10. When should I…?
When should I start my baby registry? How many weeks should I be when I have my baby shower? Is it time to get the nursery ready? The list of pregnancy questions goes on.
When you become pregnant, sometimes it feels like the clock starts ticking and your deadline to get everything done is approaching fast. Nine months really isn't that long when you think about it.
Not to worry because I am a huge planner. I like to have everything mapped out for me so that I don't miss a thing. If you're looking for a step by step Pregnancy Checklist, I've got it. If you're looking for a Pregnancy Journal/Planner that you can download and print out for your convenience, I've got that too. Or, if you're just wondering what else there is to do now that you're in the home stretch waiting for labor to happen, I've got a labor and delivery workbook for you too.
I've got you covered, mama. No more wondering “when should I…” anymore.
11. What is this pain?
Nobody said that pregnancy was going to be easy. To some women's not-so-pleasant surprise, they feel pain throughout their pregnancy. Working in labor and delivery, I get a lot of calls from women concerning pain with an unknown cause.
The thing is, whenever a pregnant woman experiences pain, they wonder if it's either labor or something signaling a problem. Luckily, just because you're feeling pain in pregnancy does not mean that you're in labor or that anything is necessarily wrong.
There are common pains during pregnancy that are just a result of a growing uterus that's holding a human inside of you.
Common and typically harmless pains during pregnancy include:
- Round ligament pain
- Leg cramps
- Pelvic bone pain
- Braxton Hicks Contractions
All of the above, anyone? 🙋🏼♀️
12. When will I start to feel baby kicking?
The first trimester always feels like the longest because you don't have the pleasure of feeling baby kicks and movements. All you get in the first trimester is morning sickness, fatigue, and an ultrasound picture of a gummy bear in your uterus.
Luckily, in the second trimester, the baby grows big enough for you to start feeling those movements every day.
You might start to feel baby's movements as early as 16 weeks or as late as 25 weeks. If you have had a baby before, you might even start feeling baby's movements even earlier; possibly as early as 13 weeks.
Once you start feeling your baby move, it might come sporadically without any pattern. You may feel the baby one day but not feel him again for another few days. Or you might only feel baby when lying in bed. This is all really normal for early movements.
As time goes on and your baby grows, it is important that you take notice of your baby's movements. Once you start feeling your baby's movements every day, it is important that you continue to feel their movements every day.
There is no need to start doing fetal kick counts until you are 28 weeks, but prior to that, it is still important that you understand what your baby's “normal” is. If your baby is kicking significantly less than his “normal”, then you should be seen to make sure everything is ok.
Once that little nugget starts moving, it's the most beautiful thing in the world. I couldn't get enough of my son's kicks and rolls. Right up to the very end where it almost became painful, I still loved every single one of those kicks.
13. When do Braxton Hicks start?
They say that Braxton Hicks contractions are “practice” contractions for the real thing, right? You've heard that having Braxton Hicks contractions is a way for your uterus to kind of get the hang of it so that it knows what to do when the time comes to get the baby out?
I call BS on that one.
Braxton Hicks contractions, although sometimes mildly uncomfortable, are NOTHING compared to labor contractions. Plus, you can start having Braxton Hicks contractions as early as 16 weeks.
In my first pregnancy, I never felt a single Braxton Hicks contraction. Not even one. I mean, every once in a while my belly would harden, but I wouldn't even know it without touching my belly with my hand. So, I feel like that doesn't count.
With my second pregnancy, on the other hand, I had fairly frequent Braxton Hicks contractions since I was about 20 weeks pregnant and all the way up until a couple days before I delivered at 40 weeks and 4 days.
14. Is my baby too big or too small?
This one is tough to answer because it is really hard to determine the size that your baby will be at birth before they are born.
When you get an estimated fetal weight from your doctor or ultrasound technician, that is an estimate than can be off by as much as two pounds in either direction. Whhaaaat? I mean, come on. That basically means that it's a pretty-good-maybe-kind-of-educated guess.
Now, that being said, I have seen the extremes in both directions.
I have seen where the estimated fetal weight was 4250 grams (that's over nine pounds) and when the baby came out, it weighed 4350 grams. That is a crazy accurate estimate! That mama went into it knowing that she was going to have a big baby and it turned out being right. Thank goodness! I wouldn't want that kind of a surprise.
On the other hand, I have seen where the fetal weight was estimated to be around 7ish pounds and then the baby came out to be over nine pounds. Way off!
In my own experience, my first baby was measuring big from the time he was 20 weeks. He continued to measure on the large size until delivery when he was 8lbs 9oz. So, yeah, he was big. I was glad that I had those predictions so I could prepare my mind for delivering a bigger baby.
One more example, if you don't mind. One of my good friends is a tiny person. She has a naturally small frame, her mom has the same tiny frame, and her mom had tiny babies. When my friend was pregnant, her baby was measuring so small that they diagnosed her with Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). This upset her because she knew that she was small for the general public, but was right for her. Her baby was born just over 5.5 lbs and absolutely perfectly healthy. She just has small babies! Nothing wrong with that in her case.
What I want you to take from this is a few things:
- Your body is going to make the perfectly right sized baby for you
- Unless you have an underlying medical condition such as hypertension or diabetes in pregnancy, it's unlikely that your baby will be too big or too small
- Babies that are too big or too small usually have an underlying reason. Rarely does this happen with healthy moms with no risk factors
- Unless you have a family history of Cephalopelvic Disproportoin, your body will most likely be able to birth the baby that it made.
These statements aren't always true. But they are for the most part. Try your best to put your mind at ease about the size of your baby. Stay active, eat healthy, and manage your health to the best of your ability and you'll be just fine.
15. Am I going to be pregnant forever?
You are not going to be pregnant forever, I promise.
Those last few weeks feel like they drag on for an eternity for some women. Trust me, I know. Both of my boys were born four days past my due date.
Try to keep in mind that baby will come when they are ready. It's so annoying that people say that when you feel like a whale and your double chin is growing my the minute, but it's true. Don't rush into an induction of labor or start trying crazy or unsafe home induction methods just yet. Give your body time to do what it's meant to do.
Just because you are term at 37 weeks, doesn't mean that baby should come by then. 39 weeks and over is the safest time to deliver your baby. So until then, try to be thankful that your body can carry your pregnancy to term and give your baby the time she needs for optimal development.
Are you coming up on 42 weeks pregnant? Ok, fine, you might actually be pregnant forever. I have some safe, natural methods to induce your labor at home that you should definitely check out.
P.S. Pregnant Chicken has THE best response to this question ever, ever, ever and I desperately wish I'd written it. If you have a similar sense of humor to mine, you'll love it.
16. Will I ever sleep again?
Do you want me to be honest, orrrr?
Short answer: Probably not.
It's hard to sleep when you're pregnant because your back hurts, your hips are sore, you have restless legs, you get charley horses in the middle of the night, your belly is heavy, your pregnancy pillow is making you hot but you can't live without it, you have to get up to pee at least a few times in the middle of the night, the baby has soccer practice in your womb and precisely 3 am, and you can't stop googling to save your life.
After the baby is born it's difficult to sleep because the baby is crying. Is he hungry or wet? Was that poop or just a fart? Should I change him or just let him sleep. I don't think he's really awake, he's just making noise in his sleep. No wait, those noises sound a lot like hungry noises, let me just nurse him again and he'll sleep. Omg why is he awake again? I just fed him! Maybe he's hot. Oh wait, his little hands are freezing. Maybe he's cold. Should we try the swaddle again? I swear he hates that thing but maybe he'll sleep better. Where is that binky? Omg he spit the binky out again.
Wait, why is he quiet? Is he sleeping or suffocating? Let me just look to make sure he's breathing. Well, it looks like he's sleeping but let me just feel his breath to be sure. Oh, yeah, he's definitely breathing. Oh thank God, he's asleep. But now it's been like 2 hours since I fed him. He's going to wake up to eat any second so I might as well just wait…and then you can't stop googling to save your life.
But, not to worry. Babies really do sleep eventually. I promise. I've got tricks.
- How to Get Baby To Sleep Well Right From The Start
- How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep With a Solid Bedtime Routine
- The EASY Schedule That Saved My Sleep: How To Make Life With A Baby E.A.S.Y
- How and Why to Become a Bed Sharing Co-Sleeper
17. Is this normal?
I don't think it matters what pregnancy this is for you, at some point you're going to wonder if what you're experiencing is normal. It's one of the most common pregnancy questions ever.
Honestly, pregnancy is so weird and it comes with such weird symptoms that what your experience probably is normal but it's always best to be sure.
Either way, I'm going to go over some common things that moms-to-be often wonder if it's normal while they're pregnant:
- Increased vaginal discharge – yep
- Spotting after sex – yep
- A hard belly after orgasm – yep
- Swollen feet at the end of a long day – yep
- Baby moves more at night – yep
- Frequent heartburn – yep
- Constipation – yep
- Frequent stools – yep
Some of these symptoms aren't any fun and can be a pain in the butt, but are pretty common and usually very normal in pregnancy. No matter what your concern is, though, you should consult your doctor to make sure that it's normal for you.
18. Did my water just break?
One of the most common things that we send pregnant mamas home for is falsely thinking that their water broke.
It's not their fault though. Sometimes it is so hard to know for sure if your water is broken or not. It's not as obvious as you might think it should be.
If there is a big pop + gush, then you might be pretty sure it's your water. But what if there is no audible pop? What if you don't feel anything until you notice at the end of the day that your underwear are kind of wet?
It is possible for your water to “break” without the obvious signs. If your water has a slow leak or a high leak, it might take some time for a pad or underwear to be completely saturated.
Many women come into labor and delivery thinking that their water is broken but it's one of these things instead:
- Increased vaginal discharge
If you are wondering if your water is broken, do these quick assessments to double check that it's really your amniotic fluid:
- Put on clean, dry clothes
- Wear a pad
- Walk around, sit down, stand up, adjust positions
- Cough really hard
After taking those steps, is your pad wet or dry? Wet? You should come in to labor and delivery to check to see if your water really is broken. Dry? Wait it out a while. See if the leaking keeps happening.
If your water is broken, it will continue to leak and have small gushes until you baby is born. You won't be dry in there, even if you had such a huge gush that you swear there could be nothing left.
19. Am I in labor?
If you have to ask, the answer is probably “no”.
Unless this is your third baby and you shot your second baby out mid-freeway, you're going to know when you're in labor.
It's important to understand what labor is, know what to look for, and know at what point you're expected to go to the hospital.
You definitely should not go to the hospital for labor without having painful, regular, progressive contractions. If you just had your first few contractions, there is no need to panic. You've got plenty of time.
Most hospitals will not admit you for labor unless you are truly in active labor. Trust me when I tell you, you are going to know when you're in active labor. There's no missing it.
Join Me in the…
Loving Your Labor Academy
The online resource to have the birth you've always wanted
20. Is labor going to hurt?
Yeah, girl, labor is going to hurt. All those other women who said it was brutal aren't just a bunch of pansies. The pain of labor is significant.
It really doesn't matter if you think you have a “high pain tolerance”. You wouldn't believe the amount of times that women come in, telling me that they “have a high pain tolerance” and therefore did not prepare for how they would manage their pain and then they were screaming for an epidural in an hour.
Labor is NOT something to fear. The pain has purpose. The pain is going to be the means to the end that is you with your baby in your arms. I don't want you to be fearful of the pain of labor but I do want you to be prepared. It hurts. You're not going to be an exception.
*And if you are the exception, great! You'll be pleasantly surprised when you have a painless labor*
- Related Read: 18 Vital Tips To Manage Labor Pains Like a Boss
21. Am I going to be able to do this?
The pregnancy questions that cross every woman's mind mid-labor contraction. Am I good enough? Will I succeed? Can I do this?
A big, fat, resounding “YES!” from the crowd!
You are going to be able to do this. You are made for this.
Your body is so much stronger than you give it credit for.
Women have been giving birth since the beginning of everything and you are no different from them. I believe in you, your partner believes in you, and your baby believes in you. Now it's your turn. Believe in yourself!
You've got this.
I'm really hoping the answers to these pregnancy questions help you to feel confident, prepared, and less alone.
Trust me, I had the same pregnancy questions when I was pregnant for the first time too. We all do at one time or another.
If you have any more pregnancy questions, leave them in the comments below!
What To Read Next:
- How To Choose the Best Pregnancy Journal and Make the Most Out of Your Precious Memories
- Your Complete Pregnancy Checklist Before You Deliver
- What To Expect in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
- Important Pregnancy Must Haves to Help You Survive the First Trimester
- 26 Early Signs of Pregnancy Before Your Missed Period
- 13 of the Absolute Best Pregnancy Tips for First Time Moms