Morning sickness got you down? Here are my favourite places to throw up

Guest post by Miss NJ
Puking rainbows

So, after 15 weeks of pregnancy, I can say this: I have become a barfing expert. A patron of puke, a valet of vomit, a connoisseur of chunder. In short, I’ve had fucking terrible morning sickness. But by “morning sickness,” I mean, all-day-whenever-it-fucking-feels-like-it sickness. The last week or so, I’ve mostly been throwing up at night, usually before I eat dinner. Doesn’t matter what I eat, I just barf.

Anyway, after discussing barfing at length with a few people, someone brought up the notion of refusing to throw up in a toilet. “Uh, why?” I asked naievely. “Someone’s ASS has been there, taking a SHIT. I don’t want to put my MOUTH there!” they replied. I was shocked. Not because of the language or anything, but HOW HAVE I NOT THOUGHT ABOUT THIS BEFORE?

This is the kind of thing I usually harbour and thrive on. Like how I won’t put a public phone to my ear, because god knows who’s been using that thing, and nonsense like that. I’m not a germaphobe by any means, I just tend to over-think the possibility of grossness, more than the germs themselves. Plus, I kind of loathe anything toilet-related. I hate talking about it, I hate jokes about it, I don’t even like using those facilities, if I can help it. The contempt I have for someone who conversationally talks about or jokes about feces, flatulence, and urine is kind of huge. I mean, really — this is what people choose to laugh and chat about? But I digress.

Anyway, my point is, I’ve now been thinking a lot about locations in which to throw up. Being sensitive to cleaning and other people’s horror regarding barf, I haven’t wanted to throw up anywhere that involves not being able to close a door for privacy, and anywhere where the barf is difficult to flush/wash away. Here are my top three locations:

The Bath

The best thing about the bath is that you’re able to sit pretty comfortably beside it, as opposed to be hunched over a toilet bowl in (usually) a small space. You can easily wash the barf away using the tap, and since there’s a large area to throw up in, if you need to stagger in and projectile barf, you can. The downside is that there’s usually not water already in it, so that sick-y smell tends to hit you pretty hard, pretty quickly. You can’t just leisurely sit there and wait for the waves of nasuea to take you on a trip to Chunder Town — you have to be prepared to hold it in and wash the existing barf away as you go. Still, it’s not bad.

The Laundry Sink/Trough

A place where you can barf and STAND UP. I’ve only done this once, so we’ll see how it goes in the future, but it seemed to result in less post-barfing eye watering, which is a plus. Standing up means that you’re not as close to the barf itself, so you don’t seem to be as close to the smell as you would be like you are with the bath. Once again, taps means that it’s easy to wash away pretty quickly. However, I can see this only being a decent solution if you’re going to throw up quickly and move on. If you’re surfing a lot of nasuea, you’ll probably hunch over the sink, and then you’ll be SUPER CLOSE to the barf smell, which ain’t fun. Plus, standing up for long periods when your stomach muscles are aching doesn’t sound overly pleasant. But still, it’s not bad, and it’s usually far enough away from a kitchen or something so that if you’re throwing up when people are around it’s not going to be horrific for anyone else.

The Toilet

I KNOW. I know, I spent the first half of this post arguing against this option. BUT HEAR ME OUT. The toilet is kind of designed to quickly and easily remove gross stuff from your butt or face or whatever. This is why people have spent years flushing dead fish down there. That means that when you puke, you’re one short button-push away from removing the horridness of your former food. Also, because there’s already water in there, it immediately dilutes the sick-y smells, so you don’t get the same offending odor. If you have a large toilet area, you can sit pretty comfortably, but honestly, I prefer being on my knees, hunched over the bowl anyway. There’s something poetic about it. Plus, since toilets are generally small in size (well, smaller than a bath or laundry sink), you don’t have to stare at it while you give yourself a second to recover/breathe (or wait for the next wave of nasuea to come). You don’t have to lean for a tap, or watch the barf clog up a sink hole. It just disappears. Yes, people have put their asses there. But unless their entire butt is covered in something horrific, I’m not too worried. Y’know, for now. That being said, I’ve never had to throw up in a toilet that wasn’t sparkling clean (thanks mum), so we’ll see how it goes if I have to toilet-barf in public or something.

Other places I’m yet to try: Flower beds, a lake/the ocean, a bin, an urn (thanks to “Juno” this seems like a must). However, I did throw up on the side of the freeway recently, and was approached by police officers in an unmarked cop car, who assumed I was drunk. They thought it was hilarious. I wanted to set them on fire.

The moral of the story? Morning sickness in a toilet might be gross, but at least it won’t lead to you almost being arrested.

Comments on Morning sickness got you down? Here are my favourite places to throw up

  1. I once barfed in the bathroom sink and then had to get the chunks down the drain, um, manually. I dont recommend that. The grossness of the toilet can actually be helpful if youre sitting there waiting to barf, thinking about how gross the toilet is might help you get it over with, so to speak. I havent barfed in 6 years, but I prefer to hurl outside. It can usually be hosed off.

    • I second this. My bathroom sink drain has drained slow since I hurled in it a few times when I was pregnant (brushing my teeth was often a trigger). No amount of plunging or pouring drain cleaners down it seems to help. I’m left wishing I had made the effort to get to the toilet… Don’t use the sink!

      • “brushing my teeth was often a trigger”

        Oh thank squid, it isn’t just me! My morning sickness has returned in the last few weeks (I’m due in 3 days!) and brushing my teeth is a horrible ordeal.

        I’ve been keeping drain cleaner near the bathroom sink for frequent use to stop it backing up which luckily has worked.

      • Drain cleaners are the biggest waste of money. I always pour down a few pots of boiling water and some bleach and it always clears out. No amounts of hair clumps or barf chunks have stood in the way.

  2. I used to go to a different floor at work, my pregnancy was not public yet and people assumed I was hungover … I once heard some chick whisper about me while I was yacking “You know who that is in there?”

  3. Although I was one of those birches that loved being preggo and only threw up 3x my whole pregnancy my favorite place to sell buicks is in the great outdoors.. there are several possibilities, dumpsters already stink so they’re fair game, the woods are plentiful where I live so I tend to frequent them, and if I have to do it inside I keep a chuck bucket ready for myself and the kids… take it to the woods, dump it out, rinse and be done with it.

  4. I used to run outside at my office. I was trying to keep my pregnancy a secret so I’d go for “walks” around the building and had a specific place where no one could see me. I still walk by it and dry heave to this day just thinking about all the puking I did there.
    Also puking in the shower is my fave if I have to puke. It was great first thing in the morning because I’d just about stumble into the shower that I’d get sooo sick so I just decided to stop getting out of the shower to throw up.

  5. A plastic bag is a decent option if your traveling. I got food poisoning on a trip, on a bus, and luckily someone with me had a bag. There’s a reason airplanes supply barf bags and it isn’t just to hyperventilate. You can seal it up, minimizing the icky smell, and then dispose of it. You can also, if you’re careful, keep your nose from being in the bag. It does, however, only work if you can puke in the bag and have enough notice.

    Another favourite in my house is to sit somewhere comfy with a pail or a big pot. Yes, you will wash it out very carefully later (or just designate an ice cream bucket or something). It means that if you don’t have warning you are covered. If it’s metal it also stays cool which feels nice. Plus you can sit in a comfy spot, deal with it, then rinse it out as needed or dump it of whatever.

    • when I was a kid, my mom always had us sit up with a huge empty bowl and get comfy on the couch with a blanket when we were sick. obv made sense because kids are pretty bad with the whole run-to-the-bathroom-to-puke routine, but it also lets you just sit there and relax after the puke exhaustion without having to nap on the bathroom floor.

  6. I never threw up while pregnant, but for my little one we use a large pot and just washing it out int he sink afterwards, with the help of a garbage disposal if need be.

    • You NEVER threw up? I’m not sure whether to envy or loathe you!

      I wish I had a strong enough stomach to do this. It would mean I wouldn’t have to bolt every time I feel that familiar nauseous feeling. But the idea of sitting with barf for ages… I just can’t do it.

      • I also never got sick during my pregnancy (still waiting for baby to show up any time now), but honestly I feel my stomach and uterus are not “stronger” than others, just different. Spicy food of any kind meant I was rocking myself on the floor for hours at night, no matter what digestive aid I tried. I never knew your uterus could feel ‘burning’ like your stomach could.

        And the midwives are holding back on doing any kind of internal exams because all you have to do is gently poke my uterus (even from the outside when they are feeling baby position!) and it goes into lots of random contractions. Being tired from practice contractions all the time can be a bummer. And this was pretty much a constant for the past two months or so.

        On the topic of barfing though, I always remind myself of the immortal words of Shrek: Better out than in.

  7. I have barfed in all of those places and more. Like way more. I even barfed in the River Seine. That was impressive. Frankly throwing up in any foreign country is pretty horrible. Not all of those “cute & artsy” places in France have real toilets (or at least they didn’t 10 or so years ago). Throwing up into a hole in the floor can wreck any trip.

    Also, having your 2 1/2 year old follow after you, mimicking your throwing up and stepping in it as you run to the toilet is pretty terrible at the time but makes an AWESOME story to tell when your sons are 7 and 10. Trust me.

    • This inspired my first OffBeat comment.

      I can TOTALLY attest to the awfulness of puking in foreign countries (namely, France). Worst morning ever was when I had to hold it in until the next metro stop, then throw up in a subterranean trash can.

  8. I prefer the great outdoors. The fresh air made it all more bearable. There are some bushes outside my house that got a lot of abuse that first trimester. And if it was particularly gross, I just got the hose and sprayed it all away.

  9. Ugh, I’m particularly worried about this as the bathroom at my work is quite a distance down the hall and I have to walk by many desks to get there. Can you take anti-nauseants whilst pregnant?

    • Yes, but doctors will usually only prescribe them if you’re having pretty hefty sickness. Luckily there are lots of natural remedies that can help a little–peppermint, ginger, citrus, eating small amounts frequently. It just varies a lot from person to person how much you can control your sickness… Good luck!

      • I agree with Marina – if I had any hint of motion sickness or nausea sneak up on me, I whipped out some peppermint chapstick. This is my go-to for any time, not just pregnancy. Snacking was also a must.

        • Oh my god, I wish I’d known about that — I had AWFUL morning sickness, and ginger never helped much (I seriously had a bag of candied ginger with me at all times for the first four months and I still lost 15 pounds).

    • If you’re allowed to eat at your desk at work I HIGHLY recommend having a cooler or lunchbox full of goodies that you can snack on. When I was pregnant the trigger for morning sickness was low blood sugar levels – the time between “Hmm, I could use a snack” and “Oh SH*T!!! BLAGH!!!” was sometimes less than 5 minutes for me. Having a bag of fruit, crackers, cheese, etc. was a lifesaver.

  10. A life long stomach issue has led me to become an expert on both covert and public puking.

    Favorite places to puke-
    #1 sidewalk trash cans- It’s an easy puke and move on. the mesh kind with a big hole at the top not the lidded kind with a little hole

    #2 The shower- puke and clean up in one move, but you have to be careful if you um . . . didn’t chew well. Your drains can only handle so much.

    #3 The side of the highway- maybe this one isn’t so great, the smells are awful, here in PHX its often 112 and the asphalt is hotter, the sounds of the traffic make it rough, but to escape the confines of a car and truly chunder with abandon, can really endear a place to one’s heart.

    #4 When very ill, very, very, very ill- sitting in your favorite chair with a thick old towel or blanket. Yes, it’s gross and yes someone will have to clean the blanket, but you are so sick, it won’t be you. And when that someone comes back and wraps you up in a new non-puke blanket there is nothing better.

    • Re: #4 – Please, please read the above comments about puke buckets. Much easier to clean than blankets.

      That being said, when my son had food poisoning as a baby and couldn’t be trusted to aim at a bucket, we did use old towels… but the stomach volume of an 11-month old don’t compare to that of an adult!!

  11. I was throwing up every day from the second week of my pregnancy and continued to do so right up until the morning of her birth, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, didn’t matter where I was or what I had eaten, pregnancy = spew. I refused to throw up in the toilet, if I did I just would not stop puking from the association of being near a toilet.

    My absolute favourite place was off the verandah (we had a big block with lots of trees, was very private). The verandah was very high so no smell, no splashback. I could lean against the railing for support and even have a glass of water sitting there waiting. No one ever went underneath either, it was perfect.

    I mainly drove on the highways and there wasn’t always a safe place to get out. So for the car I had a large plastic bowl with lid that was waterproof, washing out was a b!tch but at least it didn’t get out and the smell was contained.

    The shower was another favourite.

  12. Growing up my mom had me use an icecream bucket. I still use one when I get sick. It’s perfect for those times when it’s not clear if you’re going to puke or just feel like it. I hate staring at a toilet with all that pressure to get it over with. With the bucket I can watch TV, walk to the kitchen for crackers or medicine, or use the toilet for ‘other things’ at the same time. I even keep a bucket next to my bed at night ‘just in case.’

  13. I’m thankfully over morning sickness but I still have the occasional bout of ‘oh my god I feel sick blehhhhhh’ my favorite for long term is the toilet. I know its gross but honestly when I feel like I’m going to die nothing beats throwing up and then laying on the bathroom floor in between rounds. Second favorite is a matter of convinience the kitchen sink. It has a garbage disposal and its so close when I get nauseas. I hope I’m done throwing up for the durration of this pregnancy.


    I cannot recommend this one enough. The advantages:

    1) You can throw up standing up.
    2) There’s a disposal to take care of any, uh, chunky stuff.
    3) There’s water right there to drink. ( I don’t know about you, but I have to rinse my mouth immediately after I barf.)

    The only disadvantage is that it’s hard to clear the room before you throw-up ( but plenty easy afterwards – LOL! ).

    I discovered this by accident when I had an inner ear infection that overwhelmed me while I was standing at the kitchen sink. (And I was alone in the house.)

    Worst place to throw up? In a large planter outside a grocery store: bent over, no water, branches poking you in the face and potential for public humiliation.

    • The garbage disposal is exactly what I was going to say. All the convenience of the toilet minus the ick factor! Plus the sink is easy to quickly scrub post puke.

  15. I can’t vomit without peeing my pants. I’ve puked out of moving vehicles, and on the side of the road while pissing myself through my tights. Usually I have a really long build up before I need to puke though, so my preference is at home, naked from the waist down and into the toilet. My build up is often so long that I have time to clean the toilet before I barf.

  16. LOL. Thanks for this hilarious post. I am in week 12 and smells are causing me to vomit. Lately, in order to avoid gagging/barfing, I have a strategy, esp. when I’m using the toilet for other reasons than barfing (these things all have to be done at once):
    1.) I rub Aveda’s Blue Oil under my nose
    2.) Spray Febreeze many times
    3.) Light a candle and stare at it while I meditate on anything other than barfing.
    4.) Waive an aromatherapy wand under my nose.

    Favorite barfing place of choice if available: the woods. No clean up. Nature takes care of business!

  17. For the first couple of months of my pregnancy I found my 40 min bus ride to work really difficult. Stuck next to someone doused in foul strong perfume or near a gaggle of sweaty teenage boys who think half a can of dodgy body spray will cover up the fact they can’t be bothered to shower would be enough to make my stomach lurch at the best of times, but the effect that had on my hormone stressed digestive system was just awful.
    I once had to fashion a sick bag with a copy of the metro(free paper given away on the bus)and some rudimentary origami. Thankfully it held up long enough to get off the bus and bin it!

  18. Loving these extra ideas, guys. Coming from someone who can’t stand the sight/smell/taste/idea/concept of puke, any place where I can immediately flush the contents of my stomach away without having to touch or wash or do anything else with it, I’m still majorly in favour of the bath and/or toilet.

    However, I will say that since writing this post, I HAVE thrown up in the estuary/river near my mother’s house, and it was quite satisfactory… Until I saw seagulls swoop down to peck at it. Ew.

    • I had a friend who would eat licorice before she got out of bed every morning. She said that if she did barf then the licorice at least made it taste better, it got rid of the nasty acid effect.

  19. I haven’t been pregnant, but this past year, I’ve been violently ill 7 or 8 times, when I haven’t thrown up more than a couple times in the last five years. It got so frequent that I started keeping a mug by my bedside just in case, I think because once I just had it there after drinking tea in bed.
    And for those times when I had SIMULTANEOUS vomiting AND diarrhea, the mug was a lifesaver. There was that lucky time that it happened when I was in a theatre, and the handicapped bathroom had a sink within range of the toilet. It was horrible, but still lucky.

  20. Get a small can of Lysol and carry it with you in case you need to use public facilities. Spray down the toilet seat and wherever first. The great thing about nausea is that you usually know when it’s coming.

  21. I haven’t been pregnant yet, but when I was a child, my grandmother would use paper grocery bags for the barf. The sick person would be confined to the couch with the grocery bag resting nearby. After the deed was done, simply toss the bag and put another one. To this day, the smell of the inside of a paper bag makes me nauseous.

  22. I am 8 weeks pregnant and threw up just today outside of my apartment in the grass. It was mainly water and some cereal. I was on my way inside but paused for a moment, ran to a bush, and vommed my heart out. I felt great afterwards, and didn’t have to worry about any clean-up! Otherwise, I puke in a trashcan. We have plastic bags from those times we forget our reusable bags at the grocery store. I have a nice little trashcan that is my bff right now. A bag and a paper town at the bottom to soak up the extra moisture, and I am good to go. Also, I live with my husband and two other guys, and I have never had to take the trash out. Even my own puke-trash. 🙂 I love this post because I could sit around and talk puke all day long 🙂 Hahaha

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