Is It Normal to Feel Guilty During Pregnancy?

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is it normal to feel guilty during pregnancy? i can only speak for myself (though quite a few other women i have talked to confirm this) but it does seem that often times many women feel guilty about different things while pregnant.

my personal pregnancy guilt manifested intensely during my first trimester. i had a very rough first few months of pregnancy. i expected some nausea, food aversions and crying at the very thought of random commercials but i had not expected the mental exhaustion. this is where the majority of my pregnancy guilt lies.

is it normal to feel guilty in pregnancy

now that i have moved into the entrepreneurial world, my job consists of using my brain in a different way. the way my husband and i run our communication business is based on our intellectual property aka – our thoughts, ideas, and experiences. for instance, this here blog is a perfect example – i am the one creating 99% of the content, managing it, creating partnerships and authoring content. when i work with my coaching clients, it is my personal expertise when it comes to communication or public speaking for the reason they hire me.

i was completely unprepared for how much pregnancy was going to throw off my rhythm.

to be honest, this blog post has been in the works since the first few days i experienced creating a normal “to accomplish” list and barely getting one thing done. i have been hesitant to post it because i have a somewhat irrational but also rational fear that someone is going to read this and then assume every woman they meet who is pregnant isn’t functioning at her optimum. that is not the case, every woman experiences pregnancy (and um, life) differently. this is my personal experience and hopefully you have not seen the quality of what i write diminished and i know i still add value to my clients. i have had to rework harnessing my energy and also extending compassion to myself, which can be quite hard.

i expressed this to my husband to which he responded “you are growing another human – cut yourself some slack! that is a big part of your job right now” to which i responded tearfully, “but i am so much more than solely a baby-maker!”

we are both right.

he extended the permission to me that i am not always able to give myself. my body is literally going through insane and amazing changes to create a whole new set of lungs, eyeballs, elbows and a tiny heart (amongst a million other things). of course that is going to have some physical and mental effect on my energy and stamina.

i am also right that i am more than solely a baby-maker. i am a woman capable of continuing to run a business, write, contribute to society and eat a pint of ben and jerry’s new dairy-free ice cream in a day (the PB & cookie one is a game changer). though some days it feels like my body is not my own and this baby is taking all of my energy, i remind myself that it’s a new identity i get to add to who i am – not one that replaces anything else.

i write this with the intent that if you are pregnant or someday may be pregnant, please know you are not alone in feeling this. i hereby grant you permission (should you need it) to change the way you do your daily routine or to take a nap or to binge watch netflix for a day if that is what you need.


i have discovered that when i get bursts of energy and mental clarity – i must harness it (i.e. not watching netflix) and sometimes that means putting in 13 hour days. it ebbs and flows, much like the energy of people who are not currently gestating, so make the most of your moments and your days!


  1. jenniferhastonsays

    June 6, 2016 at 10:00 am

    Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for saying what I have been thinking- I feel guilty that I am not constantly overjoyed- I am thrilled we are having a baby but it’s scaring the crap out of me at the same time- How am I going to change? Will I be able to be a great mom, speaker, blogger or will some of those roles suffer? Case in point- Had a great coaching session yesterday and felt great but was soon followed by-sapping of my energy and I did WAY too much yesterday so today I need to do some netflix binge watching- should I be reading baby books and cleaning- probably, but more importantly, I need to recharge. NO GUILT! I am a fan- let’s make it popular to get rid of guilt!

    • chelsea

      June 7, 2016 at 9:59 am

      i am glad i am not alone in feeling this but sorry you are experiencing it too, jennifer. i totally know what you mean about being super scared and not constantly overjoyed – there are so many unknowns (plus these babies have to eventually leave our bodies – whaaaat!) glad you spent yesterday recharging instead of those ‘probably should be doing’ let’s get rid of guilt for sure!

  2. Audrey

    June 6, 2016 at 10:17 am

    Aww, Chelsea. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing feelings of guilty. I think your husband is totally right- you need to extend a little grace to yourself. No, you’re not solely a baby-maker, but the ability to BE a baby-maker is incredible and something you should be proud of! Half of our population CAN’T do what you’re doing (a.k.a. men)… and it’s such crazy science that your body is able to make that baby and you as a person are able to sustain and feed and contribute to that little human! Some things might be a little harder now or your concentration may wane, but you’re doing some amazing things, lady!

    All of that said, be sure to extend that grace beyond your pregnancy. Raising a baby is hard and it’s so fortunate that you have Mr. WS to lean on and support and parent with. I know tricky, sad feelings can creep into post-pregnancy brains, so take care of yourself!
    Audrey recently posted…The India Archive [5]

    • chelsea

      June 7, 2016 at 10:01 am

      great point audrey about being proud that we are of the half of the population that CAN babymake 🙂 (it’s blowing my mind that sexism is still so prevalent, seeing as how a woman brought in each and every human through her body on this earth!)

      right you are to keep that grace extended beyond pregnancy – because i know it’s only going to get WAY more intense. then i will feel exhausted and a tiny human needing me to feed her and keep her alive (from the outside)! thanks for your support and encouragement, audrey – it goes a long way 🙂

  3. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    June 6, 2016 at 10:29 am

    I think you’re a boss. And you’re a Boss Mama. The fact that you already so consistently contribute to this blog, run a business, and grow a human inside of you and maintain so much positivity (seemingly) is AMAZING. And if some days all you need to do is lay on the couch and feel your baby kick, then that’s your job for the day. And after you have this little one and all you can muster some days is to feed and snuggle the baby, then that’s your job for the day. Nip that Mom Guilt in. the. bud. lady!
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…Your Weekend Update

    • chelsea

      June 7, 2016 at 10:03 am

      haha #bossmama has a fun ring to it – thanks nina 🙂 i really do try my hardest to remain positive but i am naturally predisposed to find the horrible in every situation so that can be exhausting in its own regard.

      thanks for your encouragement, right you are that i need to be comfortable with how my daily job may change 🙂

  4. Elyse

    June 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Oh, Chelsea, I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. You’re not just a baby-maker BUT it’s SO amazing that you can be a baby-maker. You got this, even if you need to lay on the couch and watch Netflix for a day. And if that doesn’t work, a mantra I use when I have TOO much to do and not enough time in the day is, “I will make it through this day.”
    Elyse recently posted…Understanding

    • chelsea

      June 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

      right you are elyse that it’s pretty cool that i get to be a baby-maker too 🙂 thanks also for sharing your mantra of ‘i will make it through this day’ that is something i will keep in my reserve for those extra tough days!

      thanks elyse 🙂

  5. Jen L.

    June 6, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Love this! There have been many a day the last few months where I am just nauseous and over doing anything besides moving from bed to the couch, and it’s definitely affected me mentally. I especially feel guilty with the “working out” aspect (or lack thereof) and that’s probably been one of the hardest parts to handle.

    Just inched our way out of the first trimester, so I’m hoping the sour stomach and ability to get some more consistent exercise in happens soon!

    • chelsea

      June 7, 2016 at 10:07 am

      oooof that first trimester is so rough on so many different levels jen, i am sorry you are experiencing that too. i never believed people when they said the second trimester was better but it really is (though i didn’t start really feeling better until like week 18). i totally experienced the same thing around working out – i went from working out 5 days a week to not even being able to sit up too fast.

      wishing you a happier stomach and the ability to move around more frequently soon! hang in there lady <3
      chelsea recently posted…Is It Normal to Feel Guilty During Pregnancy?