I was reading through some of my old pregnancy posts and came across my 31 Week Update with Henry, which is when I wrote about having a panic-free pregnancy. I’d made a list of all the things that I had chosen not to stress out over (because there are a LOT during pregnancy) and the odd things that really got my pregnant panties in a bunch.


With Henry, I did NOT stress out over weight gain, no-no foods and caffeine, sleeping on my back or right side, flying throughout the first and second trimester, eating conventional produce, and exercising (this post explains why I didn’t freak out over those things specifically).


How did I get to the place of not being panic-stricken all the time?  As mentioned, The Panic-Free Pregnancy book really helped.  Reading the studies behind the ‘rules’ made me realize how blown out of proportion most of them are at the core.  When I do feel myself stressing out over small things, I remind myself that the human race has been populating the Earth for eons; if we were truly so fragile that sleeping on your back while pregnant harmed a high percentage of babies, we’d be screwed…

I realize that my response to pregnancy may have been completely different if I suffered a miscarriage, had difficulty conceiving, or had a high-risk pregnancy; I’m not even going to pretend that I kind of know what that hell feels like.  And maybe I’d be more panic-stricken under other circumstances or if my personality was different.  But… somehow… I got to the place where I’m not panicked over everything that happens, and I wanted to write this post to simply say to other pregnant mommas that it’s okay not to be worried all the time.  Worrying all the time doesn’t necessarily make you a better parent. 


Odd things that I did stress out over while I was pregnant with Henry: walking through the backscatter machines at airport security, my protein intake, doing my Kegel exercises, my birth plan, and not inhaling toxic fumes when we painted our new house.  Not all of these worries ‘made sense’ given my non-worries or are even statistically proven/relevant, but I managed to keep my worries pretty contained. 


So – how does Pregnancy #2 compare?


The second pregnancy is weird.  Or at least it has been for me.  Because the first time you’re pregnant, it’s truly ALL YOU CAN THINK ABOUT.  But the second time – especially when you have a toddler underfoot – the pregnancy is sometimes an afterthought. I hope that doesn’t sound mean – I know other moms will get it!  I’m super excited for the second kiddo, but the actual pregnancy itself doesn’t intrigue/consume me the same way the first did.  While nothing compares to feeling Little One wiggle around inside of me, I’m so BUSY taking care of Henry that I don’t get to spend hours upon hours obsessing about the in’s and out’s of pregnancy itself. 


That means that Round Two of a panic-free pregnancy is even easier to achieve.  So much of pregnancy – and parenting – is learning how to let stuff go.  I would’ve labeled myself a Type A control freak before I had Henry; I wouldn’t come close to calling myself that now.  What’s done is done.  What will be, will be.   I still operate under the philosophy that, for a healthy momma with a healthy pregnancy, a lot of things are not not worth obsessing over.  I’ve reeeeeally assimilated the idea that – in life in general – worrying doesn’t necessarily change outcomes.  All it does is stress you out!


But I still find some stuff to overthink.  Here’s what I choose to “panic” about during Round Two:


Take my prenatals and other supplements:  I take my prenatals, a DHA supplement, and probiotics every single day. I’m really good about it (mostly because the Husband always sets them out for me – he’s awesome).


Is baby head down yet?:  I’m almost 100% positive that Little One is sideways (which looks and feels weird!).  Henry was head down by this point, and I’d really love to see Little One shift that way soon.


I’ll never sleep again:   Or I won’t for a long, long time.  I know the hell that is newborn sleep, and I am really not looking forward to it.  I counteract this “panic” by taking naps whenever I can and never feeling guilty for sleeping in.  Moms-to-be:  SLEEP WHILE YOU CAN!


Getting enough exercise:  This is something that I chose NOT to worry about with Henry, but this time around, I do.  Labor was so physically exhausting.  I really want to be strong enough to get through it a second time – I hope I’m staying active enough.  It comforts me to read my workout logs from when I was pregnant with Henry and compare my progress.


Breastfeeding:  I just hope the entire process is easier the second time around.  Many of your comments have actually really helped me relax about this – so thanks!


Whether Little One is healthy:  This is probably a universal worry – I just want to hold Little One is my arms and see for myself that he or she has all 10 fingers and all 10 toes.  Know what I mean?  We have only seen Little One once on a quick ultrasound, and I feel like he or she isn’t as active as Henry was in utero, so I worry occasionally.  All I want is a healthy kiddo.


And here are some things that I DO NOT worry about:  I don’t really worry about how Henry will adjust (there will be bumps in the road, but with each day that passes, I become more and more convinced that he will do great), traveling for work (I have an insane travel schedule in October… I will be standing on stage doing multiple Operation Beautiful speaking events at 35 weeks pregnant <—you do whatcha gotta do), and whether I’m eating healthy enough (meh – I could be better; I could be worse).


What little things do you panic about during pregnancy?  Following food rules?  Counting kicks?  Doing kegels?  Staying active?  What things do you choose to NOT panic about?  Has your panic level gone down each pregnancy?



  • Jill September 11, 2014, 8:25 am

    I was more worried about the “giving birth” part of being pregnant, that I didn’t stress too much about all the things that can happen or be stressful during pregnancy. I (foolishly) didn’t give much thought to how life would be AFTER the baby’s birth. Which is probably good, in hindsight. If I’d had any idea how tired, spacey, or (at times) awful I felt during the first several weeks, I would have been way more panicked. Were I to do it again, though, I think I’d feel okay about it all, having done it before. It isn’t easy, even if everything goes “right”, but you know that the road will smooth out and the tough stuff usually gets easier.

    • Caitlin September 11, 2014, 8:53 am

      Agree – The Husband and I take a lot of comfort in knowing the really, really hard period is typically over in a few months. With our first, we felt like it would never, ever stop, which was extra hard.

  • Katie@LifesNextBigStep September 11, 2014, 8:52 am

    I totally get what you’re saying with the 2nd pregnancy being different than the first…it’s like there isn’t enough time or focus to think as much about pregnancy as there was with number 1. I don’t think it’s abnormal though! And I totally am worried about totally different things this time than I was last. For instance, when I read your comment about taking pre-natals, it reminded me to take mine. I was ALL OVER them last time, and this time I forget all the time (I shouldn’t…they are important!). But I also worry about just having a healthy kiddo and can’t wait to meet him!

    On another note, aside from the Bradley Method which I know you love, do you know of any other natural birth methods that I can research? I’ve heard of Hypnobabies but wondered if there was anything else…

    • Caitlin September 11, 2014, 8:54 am

      I am not familiar with any other methods but maybe someone can weigh in! I have just heard of Bradley, Hypno, and Lamaze.

  • Natalie September 11, 2014, 9:22 am

    Caitlin- don’t worry about building up stamina for labor! You already have it. I was put on bed rest/ modified bedrest at 32 wks with my second for growth restriction. When I told my OB that I needed to stay active to build up stamina for labor, he told me that I already had the stamina and that two months of rest wouldn’t erase that. He was right! Labor was so much easier the second time around (and shorter- 5.5 hrs vs 24).

  • Tiffany September 11, 2014, 9:31 am

    I can definitely relate! I was much less worried about giving birth the second time since it was no longer a complete unknown. I worried way more about having a healthy baby (baby #1 was in the NICU for 9 days) than before. I worried about breastfeeding since it didn’t go well with baby #2 (pleasantly surprised though as it has gone splendidly with baby #2 – 6 months in and no issues!). And, I worried that I would never.sleep.again. Well, yeah. You won’t get alot of sleep. We’re still at 1 wake up a night 6 months out, but I know it will get better with time! If I had another baby, I would most definitely worry about how fast labor would be and how big baby was as I went from a 13 hr labor to 4.5 hr labor and a 7lb 11 oz baby to a 9lb 9 oz baby going from #1 to #2. I may just hang out in the hospital lobby in the last few weeks if I ever had baby #3 since we barely made it to the hospital with #2!

  • char eats greens September 11, 2014, 10:14 am

    My BIGGEST worry when and if my hubby and I decide to have a second child is if I’ll need another c-section. I’m doing what I can to avoid it (waiting at least two years to try naturally the second time), but luckily my body did what it needed to birth my girl, she just got stubborn and turned her head the wrong way! It’s definitely something I think about a lot because I just want to avoid having to go down that road again if I can! I hope your next month of travel goes ok!!

  • Ashley September 11, 2014, 10:22 am

    I just had baby #2 last Monday (ON baby #1’s 2nd birthay, the stinker!) and I couldn’t agree more! I kind of forgot I was pregnant most of the time until I really got big. Not that I wasn’t excited, but toddlers are a lot of work! There was once or twice when I was sitting at my desk at work and Lola would kick and I would have an honest to god “what the HELL was that?!” feeling — because I really did forget there was a tiny human in there! I worried about my older daughter adjusting, thw health of the new baby, not knowing my due date (I had a THREE WEEK range), but the rest? Like you said, our bodies know how to birth babies. But like you, I have had easily conceived low risk pregnancies, so I might have felt different if it were otherwise.

    Nursing has definitely easier the second time around, so hopefully that will be your experience too. And maybe it’s because I knew for certain this time what to expect, but the sleep deprivation hasn’t been too bad either, even with a toddler. I think being prepared and knowing that eventually they WILL sleep through makes it bearable. THat, and coffee.

    Like you, after having one kiddo I knew healthy sleep habits were something I wanted to start from day one. Just know that it is a little harder to do that than you might be expecting, at least for me it has been. Despite my best efforts she has ended up overtired and missed a nap because her big sister needs me too. But, it works out. I just really recommend thinking about Henry’s schedule and from the beginning trying to establish routines that work with it. It will be here so soon!

  • Lauren September 11, 2014, 11:32 am

    The exact same thought crossed my mind yesterday at the doctor’s office. I was thinking of how all-consuming this pregnancy is for me, but then I saw a mom with a toddler who was just as pregnant and she seemed super relaxed about everything. I imagined that the second time around, it flies by and before you know it, you’re holding your precious little baby. The first pregnancy seems to drag on (especially the last month!)

  • Samantha September 11, 2014, 11:49 am

    I, too, was worried about the lower activity levels of my second and third in-utero. What I found was I just wasn’t as aware of their kicks and movements because I wasn’t constantly aware of the pregnancy itself like you said. They were both happy and healthy and one of them is MORE active as a toddler than our first was. Just wanted to share in case that helps the worrying on that one 😉 Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s SO good for baby when mom cuts back on worrying.

  • Amanda K. September 11, 2014, 2:05 pm

    When I was pregnant with baby #1 I woke up in the middle of the night on my back. Then I’d lay awake, panicked that I’d cut off the blood supply to my baby. I’d be more sane by morning, but every time I went to the doctor I was really scared there wouldn’t be a heartbeat.
    I mentioned it to my doctor and he said, “You need to understand that your body is uniquely designed to grow a baby. It isn’t going to accidentally kill it.”
    That made me a LOT more comfortable. He even told me that he’s had patients take serious falls and the baby was fine. Our bodies really are amazing. The whole process is 🙂

  • Hollie September 11, 2014, 2:53 pm

    I am due tomorrow and here are the things I am worried about…
    – ALSO the breastfeeding!!! I just tell myself it has to be easier because I am not sure it could have been worse.
    – Not going into labor naturally.

    That’s all 😉

  • Rachel September 11, 2014, 2:58 pm

    Caitlin – I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and LOVE your pregnancy updates. I’m pregnant with my first (due in April), but had an ectopic pregnancy last April. Needless to say, I’m a bundle of nerves, but reading this post really helped to calm me. It’s helpful to remember that even moms who haven’t experienced pregnancy loss have irrational fears and worries. Thank you, as always, for sharing!

  • Meg September 11, 2014, 2:59 pm

    Thanks for this very timely post, Caitlin! I’m 7 weeks pregnant, very Type A, and the freak outs are beginning. Right now, I’m freaking out about how my life will change and how it already has (feeling sick, being WAY less active than I have been) and it has been very difficult for me. This is compounded by the fact that my hubby is over the moon, and not dealing with the physical “side effects” that are contributing to my panic. If you, or anyone, has any advice for how to deal (beside what you already gave, which is great) or how you’ve expressed your feelings to a loved one, it would be much appreciated!

  • Elizabeth September 11, 2014, 3:33 pm

    I have three girls, with pregnancies spaced 26 and 18 months apart. During my first pregnancy, I was pretty mellow (for anxious me, anyway). I had a surprise breech baby (found out at 8 cm!) so although it was actually a beautiful birth, during my second pregnancy I OBSESSED about doing the “right” things regarding optimal fetal positioning…which kind of spiraled into obsession over everything in my and out of my control.

    My one worry during my first pregnancy was a colicky baby, and she was not. With my second, I worried about everything under the sun…and it all went perfectly except that she cried seven hours a day for months! During my third pregnancy I got a therapist 🙂 and tried to find a happy medium.

    My two overarching thoughts on it all are that 1)You can’t inoculate yourself from bad things by worrying, even though an anxious mind will tell you you can and 2)The best way to be peaceful and powerful in the future is to feel that way NOW. With all my worrying during my second pregnancy, I thought that if it all went “my way,” I’d relax THEN. Unfortunately, all that worrying just allowed me to practice worrying, so I couldn’t magically snap my fingers and be happy is gotten what I wanted. It was more like, on to the next thing!

  • megan September 11, 2014, 3:49 pm

    I’m 18 weeks with my first, and I’m *trying* not to stress about every little thing – so hard because I’m type A too, and as a FTM I’m TOTALLY focused on every little aspect of this pregnancy. I’ve read “Panic-Free Pregnancy” and it helped me immensely! What I worried about most during my first trimester was being able to eat well and enough since I was super nauseous all the time and detested food. I lost a few pounds and that worried me because it made me slightly underweight. Finally, at about 16 weeks the nausea went away and then I started to gain weight QUICKLY – and that kind of freaked me out. But I’m not going to freak out about it because obviously my first priority is the baby’s health and I think my body is just kicking into gear and doing what it needs to do. Plus, I’m just so thankful not to feel so horrid every day and that I’m actually able to enjoy eating again.

  • LInda @ Fit Fed and Happy September 11, 2014, 5:57 pm

    As someone who has anxiety, that quote certainly helps! The best thing I can do is brace myself and stay calm.

  • Becky September 11, 2014, 6:18 pm

    This is great. I’m 32 weeks with baby #2 and my daughter is 1 few weeks older then Henry.

    This time around I absolutely agree with you that the pregnancy is a bit of a “oh yeah, there’s another baby coming” thing. Strangers ask me how many weeks I am and usually I have no idea until I look it up. I think I told people I was 24 weeks for over a month.

    With my first I remember feeling like I needed to have absolutely everything I needed before baby came. I was stocking up on crazy things like adult shampoo and toilet paper. Like I was going into a bunker for a few months. Now I know that after a few days we will venture out and be able to stop by the grocery store for bread. Or whatever. Lesson learned.

    Labour, delivery and breast feeding were by the book for me so I worry that my expectations are now a little unrealistic. I am worried about sleep too because I know the reality and having a toddler won’t allow for too many naps. Arg.


  • Liz September 11, 2014, 7:24 pm

    #2 will be here 6 weeks from today (having a repeat c/s) and I mostly worry about how my daughter will adjust. She’ll be 21 months when little brother is born. She’s still not talking much and we have had some very rough days lately. I keep trying to remind myself that nothing lasts forever. I definitely know what you mean about not focusing on the “being pregnant” part as much – I just don’t have the time. I also worry about recovering from my c/s with a toddler to care for, what breastfeeding will be like this time around, and if baby boy will be a good sleeper. I don’t worry about caffeine or food restrictions even though I was super cautious the first time around. It’s funny how things get put into perspective!

  • Sharon T September 11, 2014, 8:31 pm

    Thanks for the post! Can your hubby help the baby move to head down with acupuncture?

    • Caitlin September 12, 2014, 5:52 am

      definitely! but i think we’d both just prefer it to happen naturally – and soon!

  • Jamie September 11, 2014, 8:42 pm

    I have a 19 month old and a 6 month old… I was crazy nervous about how my little girl would react to her new brother. It was worry without need… from the very beginning, she loved him like crazy. And now that he’s old enough to really interact with her, she loves to make him laugh. It helps that it’s super easy, since he thinks she is the funniest thing in the world! LOL

  • Dana September 11, 2014, 9:28 pm

    Agreed – the 2nd pregnancy is different. I am much more excited about the baby than I am about the pregnancy. I have a 19mo old and I don’t have time to just obsess over being pregnant. It’s great tho…it’s made for a stress free pregnancy! I too stress about the baby’s position with this pregnancy. My son was breech and I need to nix my natural birth plan for a c-section. I’d love to VBAC and it was just confirmed that at 24 weeks this baby is breech.

    2nd time around (specifically with sleep) my motto is NOTHING LASTS FORVER, especially with babies, ha!

  • Emily September 12, 2014, 10:16 am

    I am right with you on the things I’m worrying about with #2. Especially sleep! Now that I know what I’m in for, and how much it will suck, I am never saying no to a nap or an early bedtime!

  • Ashley September 12, 2014, 2:04 pm

    I gotta say — you make it look so easy. I know it isn’t, but my goodness. You know what you’re doin 🙂

  • Morgan September 12, 2014, 4:30 pm

    I’ve had the misfortune of three miscarriages so I tend to be a neurotic mess during the first trimester. If anything my second successful (5th overall) pregnancy was even more stress inducing than any of the others. My blood pressure at my first dr appt was 130/100 if I remember right and I had a panic attack waiting for the ultrasound. However, once I got past my 14 week danger zone I was soooo relaxed. I regularly forgot what week I was in and I even quit using my home Doppler after about 24 weeks. Forgetting what week I was in was the best feeling ever, with my first I googled chance of survival at 24 weeks, 25 weeks, etc. I finally felt like I was able to enjoy pregnancy and I cherish the memories from the last 5 months with our last baby.

  • AJ September 13, 2014, 7:15 am

    I panicked about sunscreen! Not good for a freckly redhead! The answer to newborn sleep (& breastfeeding) problems is co-sleeping. Seriously, saved my life! Check out the la leche league books Sweet Sleep & The womanly art of breastfeeding. Both changed my life. It’s normal in many places around the world and I am sad that I was too scared to do to right from day one. Best of luck, you make beautiful babies!

  • Rebecca September 16, 2014, 5:20 pm

    I just wanted to thank you so much for this post. I found out I was pregnant (my first) a few days ago and immediately felt overwhelmed with all the advice, dos and donts–and that was just from a few google searches! I remembered this post and ordered the book and it’s really helped. I wouldnt have known about it otherwise, and the statistical breakdowns have been helpf for my data-minded husband.

    Surely the best thing for my baby right now is a relaxed, anxiety free mama!

    • Caitlin September 16, 2014, 8:06 pm

      I agree! You have got to check out that book – Panic-Free Pregnancy. It will make you feel so much better. CONGRATS!

  • Sharon T November 5, 2015, 6:16 pm

    I panicked about all things with #1, or would maybe classify it as a little baby OCD. I felt really informed, and that helped my confidence. In pregnancy #2, I’m much less relaxed. I mostly think about variety in my diet, getting exercise most days, and staying calm. 🙂

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