May 19, 2024


Veteran Baby Makers

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why

Bringing a child into this world is one of the biggest decisions we can make. However, due to things like societal pressure and media romanticization, some people do it without fully understanding the effect it will have on their life.

So in an attempt to figure out what gets overlooked, Reddit user Baby_noodles4u made a post on the platform, inviting women who regret giving birth to share what causes them to feel this way.

Immediately, moms started sharing their personal stories, talking about everything from body changes to abusive relationships and money problems. Their genuine replies made this thread a must-read for everyone planning a family.

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why Being made into a walking incubator who must adhere to strict guidelines of how and what to eat and drink, must not have this, or that. How dare I loose weight! Every thing I did second guessed, but when I went for help because of leg swelling, dismissed like it was no big deal (I was in pre-E at the time and the doc refused to see it). Having to have my pelvis reconstructed after walking around for years with my organs barely inside of me and told that there was nothing they would do until I was nearly 40 because “I might have more kids” and the fix they did do in my 20’s didn’t fix sh*t. Pain in sex. Being jabbed with chemicals just as the child is birthing because it’s “standard of care.” Being told that I didn’t know anything about pregnancy and childbirth and that I wasn’t in labour (and yet, had the kid less than 3 hrs later). Being treated as a third class citizen because “we want a healthy baby” but not a healthy mother AND child. Knowing that my worth to not only my family of origin, but to his family, was the crotch drops I made, and that I had no value or worth. Learning that I was expendable. That I didn’t have kids, I was not a real woman anyway. That as a teen mother, it was assumed I dropped out of high school. That, also as a teen mother, having a stillbirth meant no sympathy other than “at least you’re not a teen mother!” Knowing full well that child services will be used like a hammer against you if you don’t parent the way others see fit.

Gez… society as a whole really firetrucks with a woman of childbearing age.

fibrepirate , Mustafa Omar Report

To learn more about the challenges women face after giving birth, we contacted writer, director, broadcaster, and founder of the award-winning parenting blog Honest Mum, Vicki Broadbent.

“Often it’s a hormonal pull: a broodiness that overrides logic in some cases,” author of Mumboss (UK) and The Working Mom (the US and Canada), told Bored Panda. “The desire to procreate feels natural for many. We look at screaming babies and kid ourselves (pun intended) that our own future children won’t behave like that. The future of the human race depends on this foolishness. I’ve always personally felt maternal, even as a child, enjoying caring and teaching others, and I desperately wanted to become a mother. It was a life goal for me and I feel lucky to have achieved it.”

However, it was only after Broadbent had her own children that she fully understood “how short the short straw is for mothers in the workplace and society as a whole; how high childcare costs are and how deeply careers can be impacted by having babies.”

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I’ll preface this with I love my son with all my heart. I was never prepared for a child with disabilities. We were warned beforehand and we were so sure we’d manage just fine. The part that kills me the most is that my husband deals with it all just fine and I’m a mess. I feel like I was never meant to be a mom, at least to young kids. I have an 18 year old that lives with his father that I’ve always been able to relate to and have no problems being a part time mom to. Maybe I was just never meant to be a full time parent, which sounds like such bullsh*t to me. I don’t know. I’m rambling. I’m lonely

god_damn_b*tch , Kinga Cichewicz Report

Broadbent, who had her third child a few months ago, was unaware that mothers were not highly respected and how hard it can be to parent day and night.

“Work culture and policy needs to change to support parents more. The cost of house prices and living costs are directly affecting birth rates,” she said.

It might seem odd but in 2018, the real estate company Zillow publish a report, saying birth rates were dropping most in US counties with the fastest-appreciating home values.

“Additionally, children were historically brought up in a village community, close to family and friends who could support the new mother and baby. That village concept has disintegrated. Mothers were never meant to raise a child alone or with little support,” Broadbent added. “Add a pandemic on top and parenting is certainly not for the faint-hearted.”

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I wasn’t prepared to almost die, lose my uterus, or raise a disabled child. I love my son so much, but damn… I never would have chosen this life for him. For any of us. I feel naive and stupid for ever thinking I was ready for this. For convincing my husband we were ready for this.

koibish , Sharon McCutcheon Report

Research on the subject remains scarce but we have some data to give us a broader picture. In a 2013 survey conducted by Gallup, Americans above the age of 45 who had children were asked how many they would like to have had if they could do it once again. One of the possible answers was ‘0’, which turned out to be the answer selected by 7% of respondents.

But the situation might be very different depending on where we look. A 2021 study showed that in Poland, this frequency may be as much as 13% of parents between emerging and middle adulthood, that is, one in eight.

“The reality is you can’t fully plan for parenthood,” Vicki Broadbent said. “So whilst you can prepare yourself somewhat by reading books and blogs, speaking to experts, and watching video content, everyone’s experience will be unique to them and down to their own circumstances, just as every child is unique too.”

Vicki said you simply learn on the job. “The ambivalence starts on day 1 as birth plans usually go out of the window,” she explained.

“The first child is the biggest shock of all as it disrupts your usual way of life and suddenly, you have the weighty responsibility of caring from someone other than yourself. Their needs now come first. Yes, motherhood can be a life-affirming, joyful love-fest where you see the world anew through your child’s eyes but it can also be unrelenting, mentally and physically challenging, and exhausting, too. It’s a marathon most days when babies are small but you soon find your way.” Luckily for Vicki, motherhood is her greatest success of all.

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I regret it only for the world my son is inhereting. This society is a pile of dog poo.

I regret that he will have a hard time, and there is very little I can do to prevent that. I don’t regret him, just what he will likely suffer.

Significant-Mood-396 , Report

Broadbent thinks women can lay the foundation for their parenting journey by prioritizing their wellbeing — both mental and physical — prior to conception and during pregnancy by taking vitamins, seeking medical advice where needed, being responsive to any changes that require attention, and eating well and exercising.

“Once baby arrives, it’s critical to accept any help offered from those you trust and equally reach out for help too,” the mom highlighted. “Practically, add pre-cooked meals in the freezer, test and buy items for baby in advance (getting the car seat fitted, testing the pram, etc). Finding just a few minutes of mindfulness using apps like Insight Timer can make a huge difference to your day, especially as you’ll be sleep-deprived and hormonal.”

“Deep breathing can help alleviate anxiety and will keep you calm when life feels overwhelming,” she said. “Curate your social media feeds too and stick with those sharing the realities of motherhood: the good with the bad as I do (at so you don’t feel pressured to live up to some fake ideal of motherhood. Ditto when it comes to body image, unfollow anyone who might make you feel bad about yourself. My doctor recently told me that after birth, you need piecing back together. This resonated. With a 3-month-old, 9 and 12 year old, I often feel divided into thirds. Luckily my love and theirs have multiplied.”

But whatever your situation is, the most important thing is that we’re talking and sharing our experiences.

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I love my daughter a lot, she’s amazing creative funny and sweet. I wouldn’t change her for anything.

But I regret having her with her father, I regret the choice to give her his last name and put him on the birth certificate, I regret that she had to witness me being abused by him and that she is forced to spend time with him due to my poor past choices. And also regret having her at 21 whilst not really young, it was still too young and I missed out on a lot that I’m having to do now like university, having a good relationship, spending time with friends etc. And my body and mind are messed up from having a csection, the anxiety and trauma from a traumatic birth and the postnatal depression.

Also I should of listened to my own mum on all of the above instead of saying “you don’t know the love between me and childs dad, you just want to control me” I wish I could go back to the past and listen to every warning.

Sakurablossom90 , Sharon McCutcheon Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I love both my sons but if I could do it all again I wouldn’t. I got pregnant young and did not know that I would pass my bipolar onto them. They both suffer from really bad depression. Trying to raise them when I was in and out of hospitals was hard and did them a disservice. Now they are grown and they rarely make time for me. Mother’s Day and my birthday is a quick text or mention on Facebook. My youngest tells me I’m the only family member that accepts him when he has mental issues but that’s the only time I ever hear from him. The oldest is even worse. I cry on a regular basis that I wish they would be closer to me. Long story short I did my best but it didn’t matter.

tammage , Omar Lopez Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why Love my son, get on fine with his father. But nearly two decades later I’m still disabled by pregnancy and birth and it’s never going to get better. If I had known then what I know now, etc. (I grow tumours when I’m pregnant, among other not-so-fun aspects. If we had realised it’s a family tendency I would have stayed childless.)

bopeepsheep , Jimmy Conover Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why When i was pregnant we were told theres a v high chance the baby has down syndrome. I knew someone with ds, functioning adult, worked as a masseur and spoke 2 languages, people with downs are happy and delightful. My son is 19, has severe autism and severe learning disabilities, completely dependent in every way, cant do anything for himself and has to be watched 24/7. We love him wholeheartedly but our lives have always been about him and we have 0 family life. Hes only home because husband is strong enough to change his nappy and when hes 21 and finishes school he has to go in to residential which tears our hearts out because well miss him and he wont understand why hes been left in a strange place and cant be home. What will happen when were not there for him? As much as i adore him with every fibre of my being if Idve known I wouldnt have gone ahead with the pregnancy. Not because of us but for him.

aviva1234 , Luma Pimentel Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why They say the closest thing to the pain is passing a large kidney stone.

I had severe back pains, like someone was stabbing me with a knife viciously. I ended up having a very bad delivery because I got really sick. I had pre-e with hellp syndrome and hydronephrisis. Hellp syndrome is very rare and occurs in 0.016-0.025% of pregnancies so I did not have ab traditional delivery. I had an emergency c-section. The pain in my back was from my liver expanding.

For me giving birth was emotionally scary. When my twins were born, they were pretty much dead and had to be resuscitated. Their initial apgars were 1 and 0. They weren’t breathing, they were blue, no pulse, no crying. There’s was no happy “it’s a boy” with them put on my chest. They were whisked out of the room to be worked on while the sewed me back up. I didn’t know for hours I’d they were alive or dead ams I was of odd if myself from getting so sick. They are grade schoolers now and are fine.

Quite honestly, giving birth felt like the most traumatic experience of my life.

[deleted] , Gonzalo Kenny Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why My massive regret is not dealing with my mental health issues before becoming a parent. But I was really young. And much more immature for my age. I had absolutely no clue how hard it would be to raise a child completely alone whilst struggling with your demons. It didn’t even enter my mind. I had pretty bad post natal depression when he was born. And honestly it’s been hard for us both.
I am only just getting proper therapy. But it’ll take a while. I only have one child because I was too scared to think about having another.
Me and my son are close.
We talk openly. I apologise when I need too. And we say I love you constantly.
My advice for anyone who wants children is please if you have any thing in your head that needs healing, do that first.

Kimberly Ann Couhig , Sharon McCutcheon Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why My wife has this regret after our one and only. Our birth experience was awful and resulted in an emergency cesarean. Our kid wasn’t developing properly and was non-verbal for years; later we had them evaluated and it was found they were autistic. Every day for years my wife was stay-at-home with the kid while I was at work. She lost her entire sense of freedom and felt stuck in this position as a parent with nothing else on the horizon.

My wife is a wonderful individual and she does love our kid, and always goes out of her way to make sure our child’s needs are met. But for a long time she’s hated that she had to do all that work.

Things have improved over the last year or two though. Our child started talking and actually communicating, and actually has intelligent conversations with us about things they want to do and what’s happening around them. They have an excellent support system at school, and they actually participate in class and their various therapies. I also now work from home and my wife (FINALLY) got a start to her career as an educator thanks to a wave of openings at our area schools due to early retirements after/during COVID. I now play dual roles of stay-at-home dad and full time engineer at a tech company, and have found my own stride to successfully balance both. My wife has found her freedom again in her new career, and being able to get out of the house daily and interact with other people has really helped her perspective towards being at home and being a mom. The regret is still there, but it is considerably easier to bear now.

i_cant_sports , Clay Banks Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I feel like it has destroyed my marriage. Both of us have changed since our child was born and I’m afraid the people we’ve become are not as compatible as the people we used to be. We never talk to each other, we never do anything together, and the very, very infrequent sex is basically her attempt to maintain her ability to claim she makes an effort in our relationship. Any communication that happens between us is about logistics regarding our child. I understand there is a brief period after birth where everyone needs to adjust but it has been over 4 years now.

I love my child more than anyone else on Earth, save for my wife. But I miss having a companion in life. If I had known it would be like this, I don’t think I would have made the same decisions.

LoveMyKidMissMyWife , Guillaume de Germain Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why My kids have inherited mental issues from both parents. We were young and we didn’t know. I just hate to see them suffer.

fleimarie , Alan Rodriguez Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I love my daughter and wouldn’t trade her for anything in the whole world. I love being a Mom as well.

I regret who I had a child with and how my life was pretty much changed for the worse. I was now tied to my abusive husband and his wacko family.

dollyprincessb , Arteida MjESHTRI Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I tore forward, ripped my urethra and clitoris. Permanent nerve damage.

Also developed a bunch of autoimmune diseases in my mid 30s, after 4 pregnancies. Leading theory is that micro-chimerism from the stem cells that stay in your body after a pregnancy is a big contributing cause.

ukiebee , Rebekah Vos Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I don’t regret giving birth, but I will absolutely never get pregnant again. My pregnancy was the worst experience I’ve ever had to go through. I practically lived in the hospital with daily IV treatments. I had HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) which causes me to vomit nonstop. I was on a zofran pump and almost put on a feeding tube. I have ptsd from vomiting so much. I would get an abortion if I ever got pregnant again.

Flaky_Debate_8296 , Hush Naidoo Jade Photography Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I would go though it again to get my son but my body isn’t the same. PPD is a wicked witch. I tore and 4 years later I’m still having major issues. My skin down there is thin and if I wipe just a tiny bit too hard I hurt for weeks. It’s terrible. But my son is amazing.

Pitiful_Speaker7050 , Jonathan Borba Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why While I don’t regret having my daughter, I wish I would have spoken up and done things differently. I had a horrible traumatic birthing experience. I went to a large hospital where I was a number not a name and it was awful. I still can’t think about it without getting teary eyed.

AnyKick346 , Aditya Romansa Report

I have 3 kids and quite frequently wish I had 0. I never wanted kids and knew I wanted more from my life than dirty diapers and minivans. I was ok with the first 2 but the 3rd really made me question everything again. This is not what I want to be doing with my life. I had my kids at such a young age (15, 19, 24 ) that I don’t stand a chance at doing anything significant with my life other than saying hey I raised 3 more humans. Your welcome. What an accomplishment.

Evrythngstkn Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I get it. I love my son and I’m glad I chose to have him. But I was not talked to or prepared for the trauma that might happen in birth. They let me sit in labor too long, I developed an Infection that almost killed me and my son. Had to have an emergency c section and he had to be in the NICU……now any time I see a woman going into labor on TV or movies I freak out. I will definitely not have a Second child.

Malorie Ann , Solen Feyissa Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I love my boys more than I ever thought I could. However… it’s Saturday night and I’m covered in baby vomit with the baby refusing to sleep anywhere else but on me. He will wake about 3 times between now and when the toddler wakes at 6am. I’m carrying 20kg more than I’m comfortable with and have no clothes that fit. I feel guilt for so many choices I make.

There are times I regret having my second baby because it’s so hard to juggle the needs of two and still find time for my needs. People tell me it will get easier but for now, I’m hating it.

[deleted] , Annie Spratt Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I was too young to have a kid. I love my kid so much, but both of us suffered because I just wasn’t ready to be a mother. I was extremely immature and irresponsible, and I resented not having a normal teenage experience which very quickly turned into crushing depression and anxiety. Honestly I wish I’d had an abortion and waited until I was older and had my sh*t together to even consider becoming a parent. My kid had to grow up with a parent who wasn’t fully grown up, and that sucks.

cuddlewithyourdemons , Liv Bruce Report

Pre-kids, I was on track for an area manager job. Post-kids, the same company tried to pressure me into taking a demotion far below the level of management I was in. F*ck them. I stopped giving a sh*t about the company I’d given my heart and soul to and walked away. I now have a great career with a company that actually does some good in the world and values children, but it has taken years to actually gain a stable footing on the career ladder again

SophieCatastrofeet Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I don’t regret having my child but I definitely will be having no more – I was 22 had no idea what I was getting myself into or that the after birth would affect me for the rest of my life.

I was 22 that is still young but my body has never been the same or worked the same.

Megan Maree , Stephen Andrews Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I would have another baby if it wasn’t for birth. Jut give me the baby and none of that painful birth lol

RarityKitty , Ana Tablas Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why It destroyed my health, but let me be clear, I don’t regret the birth, I regret the choice of doctor. If I had insisted on a C it would have been fine.

anonymouscog , Olga Kononenko Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I would have my children again, given the choice. But I wasn’t prepared for the way my career would slow because of them.

It’s the little things like not being able to travel to conferences. Taking more time off than non-parenting peers due to kids being sick. Etc.

Their dad turned out to be a dumpster fire, the judge prohibited him from even seeing one of the kids. So that didn’t help.

I love the kids and have tried to instill good values, and I am just not as high up the corporate ladder as I thought I could achieve.

witchbrew7 , Kelly Sikkema Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why I lost my daughter at 23 weeks to preeclampsia, and had numerous complications including placenta previa with my son but he got here safe and sound via C sections. Call me crazy but I wouldn’t change a thing, the love as well as the pain I bare daily are b/c of my choices and I wouldn’t nor can do anything differently. Speak on it yes but don’t dwell on it IF possible. I am looking forward to baby #3 and mentally prepared for the possible outcomes. For me “it’s better to have loved and loss than to never have loved at all.

Bri Guess , Richard Catabay Report

30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why If I could have ordered and picked up my daughter at the store then I would have. Maybe chosen the sleeps better add on too.

Pregnancy almost killed me, in several ways hated almost every second of it. My body is still, 2years pp, wrecked. In pain everyday. Will never be the same.

If money was more abundant then I would have another via surrogate but if I could afford that I could afford a nanny/night nurse and private surgery so would have a better time all round. I love my little girl to the ends of the earth and she was worth it but if I had known before then she wouldn’t have been – if that makes sense.

shannonspeakstoomuch , Ömürden Cengiz Report

Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.