Words of Wisdom: Morning Sickness

My mom owns the Better Homes and Garden Baby Book, published in 1943.  I am always quite interested about . . . let’s call it Modern History.  I am amazed how much our society has changed in sixty/fifty years.  My favorite example is my copy of a reprinted Betty Crocker Cookbook, where in the back it suggests lying on the kitchen floor to take a quick nap with a cartoon illustration of a woman actually lying on the kitchen floor as though she passed out from the wrong cleaning fumes.  It’s hilarious.  So far I have only skimmed the first part of the book, and I would like to share one of my favorite passages.


Although one-half to two-thirds of all expectant mothers have experienced nausea, especially in the first months of pregnancy, doctors today feel that much of the morning sickness in early pregnancy stems from a psychological rather than physical cause.  They believe that it results from the deep emotions that are aroused when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant.  Some doctors think, too, that the fact that many women expect to be nauseated and vomit when they’re pregnant may account for “morning sickness.” (pg 39)


Now you can understand why I am filled with deep emotions when I read this as I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.  I can guarantee you that my morning sickness was not due to a psychological cause but that for some reason I couldn’t keep anything down for several months and that fetus Tornado E despised Baja-style tacos.  Since my mother and my grandma never had morning sickness (which I do believe just shows that life is just unfair and this is not genetic), I did not expect to have morning sickness.  But I had it in abundance, getting worse with Tornado S’s pregnancy.


Obviously the passage was written by a man and those “doctors” were men too.  Before you think we’ve moved on, let me assure you my husband came home one day to tell me that he thought my morning sickness was all in my head.  That my husband is alive today is a testament to my sainthood.  Please let the Vatican know.


I find it crazy that one-half to two-thirds of pregnant women were blatantly ignored, brushed over, disregarded over their feelings, their vomiting.  Heck, when they noticed that one-eighth (not a meager one-half) of men become prematurely bald, researchers were falling all over themselves to find out why, when, how, and a goddamn cure.  So where’s my goddamn cure?  (Sorry, I’m getting a little carried away.  Just wait until I return to the throws of morning sickness.) 


Today researchers believe that morning sickness is caused by the increased amount of hormones in the body.  Research shows no good evidence that morning sickness is in the head.  Many nurses will gleefully tell you that morning sickness is a sign that the baby is developing well.  My doctor assured me it was a good sign without the glee probably because I would not except the glee from anyone with a pair of testicles without a good kick to them.


It’s just nice to have a laugh once in a while at what used to be.


However if you’re experiencing this discomfort, it would be hard for anyone to convince you that you’re imagining things. (pg 39)


No shit.  It’s sort of like someone telling you that your broken arm is all in your head even though the arm is hanging crooked.




To be continued  . . . With words of wisdom of loosing baby weight.

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20 Responses to “Words of Wisdom: Morning Sickness”

  1. ck Says:

    Fascinating that you’re pursuing this type of information right now…

  2. pinnythewu Says:

    haha! Our poor mothers and grandmothers, the fools that they had to deal with. When my Nana was in labour with her second child, there was a first time mum in labour in the same room. The nurses told her she was being selfish and rude because she was asking for help. They said that she’s done it before so she should know what she’s doing, plus the second time is easier. She gave birth to a breach baby all by herself while they fussed over the comfort of a woman who was only a few centimeters dialated.

  3. wild4words Says:

    honestly, the fact that anyone with testicles lives within any radius of a pregnant woman is testament to ALL of our sainthood status and should be promptly reported.

    With my first son, any food that went in was promptly ejected (even though I was STARVING and lost weight in my first trimester). If some idiot had told me it was all in my head, I would have shoved my fist through his abdomen.

    yes. This topic makes me a bit testy.

    Still laughed over the posting though. 🙂 I always find humor in those old “advice” books. Makes me glad I didn’t have to endure those times. I’m sure my cranky nature would have gotten me in a LOT of trouble.

  4. KathyB! Says:

    I love those old books. They’re good for a laugh and they’re written evidence of how far we as women have come. Also, a great reminder to pay attention to your instincts and question your doctors if what they say (male or female) doesn’t feel right.

    Fae, are you pregnant?!

  5. Court Says:

    Yeah so often I’ve wanted to give just a taste of ‘hormones’ to some men in my life since they are so, um, left out. They seem to me to be just as hormonal just more, cavemanish about it.

  6. Ink Says:

    I had that euphemistically named “morning sickness” 24/7 for the whole nine months both times, and if someone had belitted it as “psychological,” I would have been happy to throw up on them. Just to make a point.

  7. Ink Says:

    Um, that should be “belittled.”

  8. Ink Says:

    And yeah, Fae, when I read the title, I thought OMG, is she pregnant? Then I read the post and it didn’t sound like you were. Then CK’s comment sounded mysterious, and KB asked you, too, so…um…is there something you want to share with us, dear friend?

  9. polymerclaysnails Says:

    OMG, Fae, great — GREAT! post! I was among the hated few that didn’t experience morning sickness … that together w/ spotting led me to find out I was pregnant when I was damn near 3 month along! So! It can’t be all in the head because I didn’t feel anything before or after I found I was with child …

    I love to hear what this book would say about another group I’m a member of: the unwed ‘knocked up’ 🙂

  10. Gibby Says:

    Yeah, you’d better fess up!

    I remember when I was preggers with my first, one of those dumb maternity books said that you should take a nap in the middle of the day if you felt tired, even if you were at work. Could you imagine a coworker walking in finding me curled up under my desk with a pillow and the computer cords? Who does that?

  11. femspotter Says:

    Is it really that bad? You know how I feel about breastfeeding. I AM TERRIFIED OF PREGNANCY!

    As to the nap at work thing: I am reading more and more that working mothers are doing everything they can to make themselves seem devoted first and foremost to work. They’re taking photos of their kids off their desks. This is so their bosses won’t move them to the top of layoff lists. (I guess a nap would definitely be out of the question in that case…so would pregnancy. This is very unfair!)

  12. Ink Says:

    (later) Wow, thank you, Fae!!! I would like to return the favor, ok?

  13. tlc Says:

    I love those old books too. We found a newspaper from the 40’s when we first moved here…it’s amazing how racist and sexist the want ads were. So shocking it’s funny to read.

    I was in the fortunate 1/3 that got away without morning sickness. I worried there was something wrong because I read that about it being a sign of healthy baby.

    I’ve always heard that girls cause more sickness than boys. I guess you proved that myth wrong too!

  14. faemom Says:

    Before I answer any comments, I would like to say for the record. I’m not pregnant. Since I just moved to a new state and got new health insurance, it would be very irresponsible to be pregnant right now. I appreciate the concern. But I assure you “Project Womb” is not allowed to commence until after May 19th, when the 90 day probation period is over. If you want a sign of when “Project Womb” as commenced, I will post a post talking about all the things I’m willing to try to conceive a girl, barring anything that costs money. Then if I have a boy, we can all laugh together.

  15. faemom Says:

    ck~ The boys had been very unclever the last few days, I needed to write something.
    pinny~ That’s just so sad; it makes me want to tell some nurses off. Every pregnancy is hard, just ask any one who has more than one kid.
    w4w~ To think ANYONE would believe it was a mental thing is just crazy. But I yeild to you because you obviously threw up more than I did.\
    KathyB!~ Great advice on the trusting your insincts! And No.
    Court~ I have fantasized for years about a virtual reality program all men must take to experience PMS, periods, pregnancy, and labor. For the record, men DO have hormonal changes like women; they’re harder to track because they don’t have any outward signs.
    Ink~ Ouch. And you did it twice! Impressive. I can only hope the next time I have morning sickness that I get to vomit on someone who isn’t a believer. And I’ll let you know and see email.
    poly~ Lucky. And what a surpirse that must have been! I’ll look up unwed mothers, but remember you would have been in a shot gun wedding or sent to live in a convent back then 🙂
    Gibby~ I love that you use “preggers.” I love that word! Actually I did when I was working and pregnant with Evan. I slept on my breaks with my head down on the breakroom table. I worked with guys, who became very protective and “talked” to anyone who was too loud in the breakroom.
    fem~ It’s not that bad for everyone. Rule of thumb, how ever you feel during your period, just magnify it. But when your ready, you’ll be ok. Of course there’s always adoption 🙂 That’s so sad about women fearing their job security because they are mothers. Honestly, we need to move towards the rest of the enlighten world about parenting and pregnancy, but THAT is a whole other post.
    tlc~ That newspaper musr have been fascinating. Lucky girl, except for all that anxiety. I was told that myth too! Yeah, not so much.

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  17. tlc Says:

    Fae, when Project Womb is underway, I have a few ideas of my own for conceiving a girl. All ideas that I will try and share on my blog when my own Project Womb commences. We’ll have to put our heads together and see if it works!

  18. faemom Says:

    Vartha~ Thank you.
    tlc~ We’ll compare notes and then see what happens. We’ll either congratulate each other or laugh together. 🙂

  19. The Worst Things of Pregnancy « Faemom Says:

    […] Sickness.  I hate hate HATE the first trimester.  I think I complained about it enough here, here, here, here, and here.  Oh and here.  To say I’m sick and tired through those first […]

  20. Canister Set Says:

    baby books should have as many pictures as possible because babies like to see pictures -;:

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