The Morning Sickness Companion


The Morning Sickness Companion, by Elizabeth Kaledin, was a recommendation (and a loan) from my cousin, after she heard I was struggling with a parasite. I mean baby. And I highly recommend it, especially for any woman going through a first pregnancy.

About a third of the book can pretty much be summed up as, “Hey. You got this. It sucks, but you got this.” Kaledin talks about her own pregnancies and those of her friends, and discusses the cultural expectations of morning sickness. First, some naive people (including myself, about 3 months ago) still think that just because it’s called “morning” sickness, it only happens in the morning. Oh, man. False. The book discusses some possible reasons for morning sickness, laments a lack of available treatments (although it cites and discusses some of the available medications), and mostly just says, “Yes, this is hard. It’s totally  normal for you to grit your teeth as you clutch the toilet and launch a few choice words at the unborn child you were so excited for only a few weeks ago.”

Basically, this book makes it seem a lot less depressing to be sick. It’s normal. It will go away. Yes, the baby will be worth it. And here are some ideas you can try. See if they help.

Two things I didn’t like about this book: The format, and the bias.

The format shrieked “journalism.” Specifically, there are huge word bubbles on every other page that say – verbatim – the same thing you just read in the last paragraph. Occasionally, a paragraph is interrupted so you can read that same paragraph in fancy font, inside a box. It’s meant to grab your attention, but if you’re actually used to reading a whole book from cover to cover, it’s distracting.

The “bias” part wasn’t bothersome to me, so much as a little weird. The author is a news correspondent working in New York. Which means her world revolves quite a bit around work, and the same goes with most of her friends (whom she interviewed for the writing of the book). I plan on being a stay-at-home mom, and I’m currently a stay-at-home mom until I can get over my morning sickness. (My clients have special needs, and require a certain level of alertness that I just don’t have right now.) So it was really weird that all of her advice simply assumed that my job would be one of my top priorities, and that I would be working after the baby was born.

Really, though, these are both pretty small, nit-picky issues. Overall, I thought the book was fantastic, motivating, and I especially liked the amount of medical research that went into such an easily-read book. I can recommend this to anyone I know, and they’ll understand it – but Kaledin still did her research and cited her sources, so the skeptic in me can relax a bit.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go pour myself another bowl of Golden Grahams. Here’s to surviving the first trimester! ♥


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