9 Things A Pregnant Woman Really Means When She Says She's "Hormonal"

Ad failed to load

Jokes about the emotional instability of pregnant people are never-ending. And yes, we have a hell of a lot of hormones rushing through our system when we're growing human beings. It's true. The dramatic changes that our bodies go through in less than a year are astounding, but we're also freaking exhausted. All. The. Time. A little help can go a long way, so let me do the heavy lifting for my currently pregnant comrades and tell you what a pregnant woman really means when she says she's "hormonal."

It's no joke how crazy I felt when I was pregnant. But, honestly, it's hard to say that without accidentally giving credence to people who wish pregnant people would avoid public and just stay at home until their babies are born. Whether it's because they think we're "too fragile" or "too emotionally unstable" to continue life as normal when we're growing a human, or they think we should STFU and deal with the intense changes quietly, not everyone understands (or cares about) the plight of pregnant women. There isn't too much room for pregnant people to just deal with the challenges they're having openly without running the risk of their experiences being minimized or misunderstood.

If you're anything like me, hormonal changes in pregnancy felt so isolating. I wanted commiseration but, like many before me, my feelings were usually minimized or I received patronizing responses (see Serena Williams' Australian Open Win coverage). What follows is an effort at commiseration with my counterparts who've been, or are currently, pregnant. Everything you feel when you say you're hormonal is valid, even if it's not one of the examples covered below:

Ad failed to load

"Leave Me The F*ck Alone!"


I just can't even with you (read: anyone) right now. Go away.

"Creating A Human Out Of Nothing Is Exhausting"

All of my parts are tired. I can't even begin to explain to you this level of exhaustion. I'm amazed I'm not falling over sleeping as we speak.

"A Skull Is Crushing My Bladder"


You expect me to listen to your words when a human head is crushing my pelvis? Nope.

Ad failed to load

"I'm Afraid I'll Lose My Job"

Sometimes playing along with misogyny is what keeps those of us marginalized by it alive and surviving. If I didn't make excuses, like being "hormonal," while I was pregnant at my last job — thus playing into the destructive idea that pregnant people are somehow less capable or emotionally stable than non-pregnant people — I feared I would be labeled "emotional" and my job would be at risk.

This is a real fear for many pregnant people. So, if you hear a pregnant person say she's "hormonal," ask her what's really going on.

(Author's note: all pregnant people — just like all people — are different. She may not want to talk about it with you. If she tells you to bugger off after this question, just do it.)

"Give Me Some Fruit Torte!"


While I was pregnant I would fluctuate between absolute disgust of all things food-like and ravenous hunger that only one very specific food item could solve. I don't give a good goddamn if it's the middle of the night! You better find a way to get me that fresh fruit torte.

"Hold Me While I Cry"

Because I am so sad right now.

Ad failed to load

"Don't Baby Me!"

I am not some fragile porcelain doll that needs protection and kid gloves! I'm a grown-ass person growing another person!

"I'm Happy And Angry!"


Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. They're both true all the time.

"I'm Hormonal, Goddammit!"

Sometimes we actually say what we mean. Pregnancy hormones are one of those times.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

The Entire Family Can Enjoy These Movies & Shows Coming To Netflix In June

It's just one of those sad facts of life: every month, shows and movies vanish from Netflix, their varied excitements no longer at your fingertips. But luckily the streaming service is always prepared to fill that content void with lots of new things…
By Megan Walsh

The Reason Why Babies Smile At You Will Seriously Make You Smile

Whether you're currently the recipient of your own baby's sweet smiles or you just seem to be a magnet for baby grins in general, you might find yourself wondering why babies are always smiling at you. Sure, you could be a 'smile whisperer' but scien…
By Kate Miller

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills