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Posted on Jun 22, 2013 in Fertility, Parenting | 10 comments

Ten Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman with “Morning Sickness”

Ten Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman with “Morning Sickness”

DSC_0019 CROPPregnancy.  Ugh.  I’ve decided that the women who say they feel great and actually like being pregnant are lying.

Okay, so maybe they aren’t exactly lying, but they aren’t actually telling the truth.  Could they be?  Nah.  Pregnancy, as beautiful as the outcome may be, is not what I would ever call “fun.”

No, I’m not trying to announce that I’m pregnant. I just had a little trip down memory lane and thought that in my non-preggo, non-sicko state, I’d make a list to help you out when you encounter other women with that glow. And for the record, “morning sickness” is the most under-descriptive name for the all-encompassing, 24-hour, flu-like state of many pregnancies.

1. You should try ________ (fill in the blank – saltines, ginger, peppermint, etc.).
Do you want to know how bad those things taste coming back up?
Get me a trash can!

2. You just need a little fresh air. Go for a walk!
I puke when I walk to the bathroom and you expect me to make it outside and down the road?
Get me a trash can!

3. Everyone gets it. Suck it up.
Oh, that makes it so much better…
Get me a trash can!

4. I can’t believe you’re sleeping again.
I just grew a pinky finger in my womb. What did you do today?
Get me a trash can!

5. You think you’re sick now, just wait until labor and delivery! (Snort.) Let me tell you my horror story…
Thanks. Now I’m not just sick, I’m terrified.
Get me a trash can!

6. If you were busy enough, you wouldn’t have time to be sick.
Are you freaking kidding me?
Get me a trash can!

7. Do you want to have sex tonight?
Do you want to clean puke up off your face?
Get me a trash can!

8. I don’t smell anything. You’re imagining it.
How can you not smell that? It’s awful.
Oops! The trash can wasn’t close by enough. Sorry about the floor.

9. Why do you need a trash can? Just puke in the toilet.
Yes, because in my extremely nauseous, motion-sick, hyper-sensitive to smell state, I want to stick my face in the pot where we poo.

10. I don’t feel like going out to get the food you’re craving right now. You’ll just puke it up anyway.
If I can’t have [pickled bananas] right now, I’m going to claw your eyes out.
And yes, after eating the crazy food I requested, get me a trash can, please…

And now, for some encouragement on what you could say to a pregnant woman with “morning sickness” to help her through it.

• Tell me about what you’re looking forward to most when your baby is born. (Then remind her of that when she’s feeling the sickest.)

• Is there anything I can do for you? Clean? Cook? Get your groceries? Get you a cool cloth? Turn the heat/AC up or down?

• Your shoulders are probably aching from the constant strain of vomiting. Can I rub them for you?

• I see that it must be difficult to reach your feet these days. Would you like me to paint your toenails?

• How do you feel about epidurals? Isn’t it nice to think that after all this sickness, you won’t have to feel a thing when you deliver this baby?

• Here are some boxes of baking soda to absorb odors. Where all should I put them in your house?

To all of you who are going through this difficulty right now, my heart goes out to you.  Remember, there will come a day when you have a sweet reward.  What got me through some of the worst of it was imagining little baby toes, little baby fingers, a little baby nose, and the joy of it all sometimes helped me to smile through the nausea and exhaustion and discomfort.  It won’t last forever.  One day soon(ish), you’ll be rewarded with big smiles, adoring eyes, and chubby little arms wrapped around you tight.  Then, if you’re anything like me, you’ll wonder how quickly you can do it all again.

What dumb things did people say to you when you were pregnant?  And what brilliant things did they do to help?


  1. this is the most accurate post i’ve ever read! love it!

  2. People constantly asked, during the last few months, “are you getting anxious for the baby?” I know its just an expression whose true meaning is “are you ready/excited?” But to my ears anxious implied anxiety, and I hated that question.

    The other question that bugged me was whether I was ready … Was the nursery done, did I have my shopping done …. I was a minimalist then too and did very little preparation. The gifts I received at my 2 showers were more than enough. I didn’t buy one thing. Not kidding.

    I was honestly one of those women who enjoyed pregnancy. I was nauseated one time total in all 3 pregnancies. Luck of the draw.

    • Tammy, that reminds me of something I keep hearing since I had the baby. “She’s a keeper!” said with a smile and a wink. What??? I know they mean well, but it implies to me that if she weren’t so cute or well-behaved, I’d give her away. I’m not nearly the minimalist you are, but we had to buy very little for Eliana, thanks to my showers and my sister. Basically just furniture and a couple outfits because I wanted to pick out a few things for her myself, for fun. You were so lucky not to be sick. So very, very lucky…

  3. Great advice! Imagining the “joy set before you” is certainly an encouraging comment to the sufferer. That’s what got me through, too. It is amazing how quickly you are willing to do it again.

    I had a friend tell me “It was all in my mind and that I could will it out if I wanted to.” What did he think I was doing, wishing it upon myself? ugh!!

    Things always seemed to taste better and go down easier when the food was prepared for me… like making a sandwich or peeling an orange… Another helpful task was taking the other little ones out for a while to give me a break.

    • Leslie, I had a similar experience. If I’d just pray harder, God would heal me. I asked if i could pray harder than constantly. So then I needed more faith. Then I suggested that if the friend had more faith maybe God would answer his prayers for me! 🙂

  4. LOVE THIS! My heart went out to you as I listened to the uncontrollable hurls…. and they she came! Beauty! I think Eliana has the huge personality to match her active time in Mama’s belly 🙂

    • Shannan, the faithful friend, there to comfort me, with a strong enough stomach to handle the puking…

  5. That was great Kim, I liked the one about Dads too.


  1. Ten Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman with “Morning Sickness” | Kimberly Wenger's Blog - […] Ten Things Not to Say to a Pregnant Woman with “Morning Sickness”. […]

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