Waterworks Warning! 10 Things That Can Make an Expectant or New Mom Cry

Stress at pregnant woman. Problems, sad, depression woman.
Image adapted from iStock

This is meant as a public service announcement of sorts, to help you avoid sending yourself or your loved one into recurrent bouts of uncontrollable sobbing. If you are reading this with the express intention of making a pregnant woman or new mama cry, well – you aren’t very nice, are you? Maybe you should spend a little more time in your happy place.

The emotions that kick in the moment you conceive, the same emotions that last well into the first year (or beyond), can be overwhelming. Growing and caring for a brand new person can shift every feeling into overdrive. On the good days, this can carry you through amazing highs, wherein you smile fondly at strangers who compliment you and you embody that oft-referenced “pregnancy glow,” or congratulate yourself for being the best mom ever. Then there are the other days. Days when you look at your handsome and loving husband, the one who got you into this situation, and wonder if he’s always been so obnoxious when he brushes his teeth (Why so much foam? Seriously!?) And the tears – oh, the tears

So today, we’re talking about those sensitive subjects that might just set you off on one of those days. Maybe you, and those who love you, can avoid your triggers, as unlikely a thought that seems. Or maybe you can just feel relief at knowing you aren’t the only one who has cried over the restaurant putting the wrong condiments on your sandwich (you’re in good company on that one). 


Mess with her food

This one is a biggie. Whether you’ve been managing morning sickness and struggling to find anything appetizing, or you’re struggling  more in the “please hide the food before I eat it all” way, someone standing between you and what you want to eat is dangerous ground.

Jenny was sent into sobs when she discovered her husband had finished the chips portion of her chips-and-salsa craving. Aimee says, “I all out cried at the mall because my husband took too long at Sears and I wanted ice cream. He says ‘Honey, we can go to Haagen-Dazs in the food court,’ and I replied while crying, ‘But…they don't have mix ins!!!!’ I was laughing while crying because I knew how ridiculous it was! But I couldn't stop the tears.”

… Or drinks

She’s likely given up a lot in the name of pregnancy – wine, her daily caffeine habit, and much of her patience. For Christi, the tears weren’t enough when her husband drank the last caffeine-free soda. She confesses that she *may* have pitched a fit that involved not only tears, but some increased volume and possibly a flying water bottle. As I say – tread with caution when coming between a woman and her food (or drinks).


Reveal the sex of the baby (or babies)

Hey – you get what you get, and you don’t get upset, right? Until you do. Now, there are tears of all kinds in this category. The happy tears, upon hearing that the little girl/boy you’ve always envisioned is on her/his way. The not-so-happy tears, upon hearing that the little girl/boy you’ve always envisioned is actually a boy/girl. And the “oh my gosh, I’m actually having a baby – what was I thinking?” tears that sometimes sneak in at the gender reveal. As any mama will tell you, you’re going to love the child once he/she arrives, no matter which equipment is installed; so don’t let anyone make you feel guilty over a few tears for what might have been, or what will be.

*Expect increased amounts of tears from moms of multiples, since they’re getting hit with this emotional moment times two or three or more.

Watch television

Cozying up on the couch for a little screen time sounds innocent enough, right? Wrong.

The television is rife with risky, tear-inducing opportunities on every channel. Don’t get me started on Lifetime movies – especially any with a baby or pregnant woman or food (see Reason #1). But even the most innocuous moments have the potential for sparking a tear fest.

For example, Trish says, “I was about 7 months pregnant and watched an episode of Meerkat Manor… it was the one where the momma meerkat, Flower, gave her life to save her babies when a snake entered her den. I cried for 24 STRAIGHT HOURS for that sweet meerkat who saved her babies!!! I think I'm about to cry again right now!” Me too. *sniff*

… ANY television

But you argue that some things must be safe, right? Football. That must be okay to watch. Don’t be so sure … Jennifer says, “I was just a few days post in-vitro and not sure if we were pregnant. My husband and I were sitting on the couch watching a Bucs game & when they scored a touchdown I started bawling my eyes out! My husband started laughing and said, ‘You're pregnant.’ I went and took 3 pregnancy tests and sure enough, I was! I'm not a football fan at all which just made it even funnier!” Bucs fans all over understand your tears, Jennifer.

Tease her

A bit of good-natured teasing is all in good fun. Usually. But the rules change when the hormones kick in. Take it from Mandi’s husband. She says, “I was pregnant the first time giving my husband a hard time about not eating his vegetables so he could live a long time with me, to which he jokingly responded if I was going to nag him maybe he didn't want to… Totally burst into tears and freaked him out big time. Kept laughing and crying about the hormones.”


So you may want to lay off the teasing, unless you like your dinner with a side of vegetables and hysterical crying.

Show her tiny baby things

Newborn diapers. Footed sleepers. Heck, even a little, blue bulb syringe. “I’ll use this to suck the snot out of his little nose!” This also applies to actual babies – both human and non-human. “Aw, look how the mama spider carries her hundreds of babies on her back!” Okay – maybe there is a limit. But puppies, for sure.

Spill milk (or pour it out)

As any mama who has pumped will know, the work that goes into bottling breast milk makes that stuff as valuable as liquid gold. Joyce was reminded of this by her tears after her husband took care of a bottle on the counter. “It was 6 ounces. I remember it well because it was the most I had ever pumped in an entire day and he came home, thought it had been sitting out, and dumped it down the drain. When I went to look for it shortly thereafter, he told me he had thrown it out and I seriously sobbed over spilled milk.” Yeah – that saying makes so much more sense now that I’m a mother.

Make her feel like a mom

Those moments, especially in the early days, when you suddenly realize that you’re actually a mom, are magic. Even when they’re messy. Take Nikki, who says the tears kicked in “the first time Mikey peed on me… after 3 girls, I was so happy to finally have a boy! That was the first time I really felt like I had my ‘momma's boy.’”

There was many a late night that I spent with my newborns, deliriously tired and silently sobbing as I took in the fact that I might never sleep again – but the reason for that was the best thing in the world. And speaking of sleep (or the lack thereof) – our last way to make a her cry is up next.

Just about anything, really

Sometimes, the not sleeping, the love, the hormones, and the reality of it all just hits you when you least expect it. Take Amanda, for instance. When her little one was only a week old, she took her older kids to see Yo Gabba Gabba live. And then, “When DJ Lance walked out I cried like he was the pope.”

While we do get the magical wonder of a television personality who keeps your toddler entertained for longer than ten minutes, we’re guessing that whole “I just had a baby a week ago” factor may have come into play here.  So if you, too,  find yourself or your loved one crying for what seems to be no reason – trust us – somewhere out there is another pregnant woman or new mom sobbing because they understand the trauma of your husband eating the leftovers you had been saving.


Now it’s your turn! So tell us – what’s the silliest, strangest, funniest thing that has made you cry as an expectant or new mom? 

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Waterworks Warning! 10 Things That Can Make an Expectant or New Mom Cry

Sara McTigue is a secret agent, cupcake chef, award winning author, photographer, and PTA mom. At least, that is how things look in her mind. When she isn’t testing the bounds of her imagination, she is a mom to three amazing and hilariously funny children, wife to a charming and handsome man, and thoroughly addicted to reading. With a BS in English Education and an MA in English Literature, words – and their ability to shape our lives and thoughts – are an everyday fascination. Af ... More

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  1. After i had my first son, my husband listened to that song from Tarzan “you’ll be in my heart” ALL THE TIME, i tried so hard to walk out of the room or just focus on the tv while he played it,because i knew it made him feel all warm and fuzzy, but one day i just couldn’t get away and i sat there and bawled my eyes out while breastfeeding my 2 week old son, lol!

  2. I cry all the time about not having anyone to talk to I guess everyone calls me a drama queen but I am glad that I can vent on here at least if no one reads it then at least I get it all out. Well most of it….

    • Aw! It’s so hard feeling you don’t have anyone to talk to. Have you visited our forums? We’ve got some really active members who are great at giving feedback and helping you find connections. I’d also suggest checking out your dr’s office or hospital to see if there are any mom groups in your area you can join. It’s good to have someone who understands to listen!

  3. corind says:

    i cry over horror movies which confuses me and my childs father to no end lol and when I discovered that my school stopped stocking pop tarts in the vending machines so they can sell them in the book store for a dollar extra (this amuses my friends because it happens like twice a week). but other than that I tend to just get angry and hit people. like when I slapped my childs fathers “area” after he jokingly called me a fatty for eating both his and my ice cream (technically we had switched because we had gotten each others favorite flavors and he didn’t like his) and one of my guy friends when he said nightwing (whom I am naming my baby after if its a boy) was a sucky super hero

  4. mommy nhoj says:

    I am a cry-baby even before getting pregnant. I had my monthly waterworks nearing the period. So you can imagine how much I’ve produced when I was pregnant 🙂 it felt like theyre so ready to fall down anytime 🙂 hahaha

  5. Bianca says:

    All I want to do is cry…WAHHHH!

  6. Tiffany says:

    I’m not as emotional this time around having a girl but my son made me cry over every episode of Boy Meets World. Even knowing the ending, I’d burst into tears. My best friend confined that she had the same problem. Best advice for expecting moms, don’t watch boy meets world!!!

    I also cried over spilled milk. My mom went through my entire stock while trying to help causing a two hour breakdown for me knowing she’d just gone through an entire day of pumping just to have my son throw it up on his dad because he was too full!!

  7. Ashley says:

    It is nice to know that other women are emotional when someone finishes a snack or drink that they had planned on eating or drinking. I live with my Husband and daughter. After Thanksgiving I wanted a piece of the chocolate pie and they has demolished it while I was gone. I was very upset because I had looked forward to this all day. Thank you for sharing this. I thought I had a major eating problem.

  8. Whitney says:

    I was about 8 months pregnant and watching Animal planet or discovery channel and a little baby antelope or similar creature was being chased and he triped and the big cat predator that had been chasing him ate him. I cried and sobbed for HOURS. (I was having a hard time sleeping so this was late at night). I still remember being so sad about it now that I tear up.

  9. Tiffany says:

    I am currently 30 weeks pregnant and a few days ago I started bawling while doing the laundry. My husband came running in thinking I had fallen only to break out laughing when I told him I was crying because in a few more months the laundry will never be the same, and just how big of a thing that is.

  10. kscofield says:

    i am having twin girls pretty soon, the past two months i have been craving nothing but buffalo sauce. so my fiancee finally went and got me a breaded chicken sub with pepperoni and buffalo sauce… i got it. ii cried i wanted ham…..

  11. Genevieve says:

    It was about a week after my son was born when my husband and I were getting frustrated so we sat down at talked. I found out that one of the hardest adjustments he had to make was going from a full 8 hours of sleep down to 5 or 6 hours of sleep on a regular basis. A few days later I found myself crying in the middle of the night during a feeding. I had calulated that me and my son were getting less sleep combined then my husband was alone.

  12. sayhola says:

    For me, it was music. My husband likes country, and I… tolerate it. Well, usually. When nearing birth with my son, I would cry at nearly every song and would have to holler at him to change the station, because even though the songs weren’t SAD, they truly made me bawl. And crying over spilled milk? Yeah, I can relate……. (Somehow, I didn’t cry as much when pregnant with my daughter. Both times, gender was a surprise!)

  13. Amanda says:

    I was about 5 months pregnant with my daughter and I decided one night to make spaghetti for everyone for dinner. I was adding the sauce to the hamburger I had just browned up. I added sugar to it like I learned from my Mom and have always done. My sister-in-law goes and adds oatmeal to it and I started bawling. I was upset she did that. I knew it was ridiculous to be crying over something so silly as oatmeal in my spaghetti sauce. And that wasn’t even the silliest thing I’ve cried over

  14. I craved Mexican while I was pregnant and our local Mexican place knew exactly how I wanted my enchilada supreme. They had gotten a knew cook who didn’t pay attention to how my oorder was written, which my favorite waitress wrote in detail for him so it wouldn’t get messed up knowing I was pregnant and knowing me personally and she knew I’d get emotional if it was wrong. We got our food and my enchiladas were 100% opposite of what I wanted! I literally sobbed/laughed(knowing how ridiculous I looked) for 2 hours and had to take my replacement food home for later cuz I was crying so hard I couldn’t eat!! So now when we go the waitress gives me hell about it every time and we laugh about it. As much as I loved that meal while I was pregnant I can’t eat it as much now, I burned myself out on it!

  15. JaMia says:

    I cry during episodes of Law and Order Special victims unit all the time because of the little children. I also find myself crying while watching episodes of say yes to the dress haha.

  16. Kristen says:

    I cried for the same reason twice, The first time my computer dumped something I was working on for school – I didn’t even know I was pregnant. The second time (ok there was actually MAJOR cause for this one) was just a week or so ago (17/18 weeks) and I’d spent all of November working on NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and was so close to my 50,000 word goal. My flash drive screwed up and I thought I lost the entire thing. I was uncontrollably crying and my poor husband had to wake up and calm me down. He then went and found the novel for me.

  17. Robin says:

    After coming home with my baby girl. The following morning I was eating my egg sandwich, and suddenly tears just burst out. I cried until my mother-in-law said”That’s it your coming home with us!” With my second child (a boy) I cried the whole pregnancy! Now my daughter-in-law is expecting, and I just want her to know that every woman goes through this! Enjoy the miracle that God is giving you!

  18. Sara says:

    I was 8 months pregnant and my husband brought me the wrong sandwich and I cried for 3 hours!!

  19. Terra says:

    I’m almost 6 months in, and the most uncontrolable is when my husband has made me laugh. I’ve had 2 episodes when things were just sort of funny. I laughed so hard I started bawling and I couldn’t stop!

  20. Antoinette says:

    I cried when my mother told me I ate tacos messy. XD She was just like “Oh dear.”

  21. Lisa says:

    OMGOSH! I totally get #1. My ex and I went out to eat and being pregnant, as soon as we ordered our food, I went to the bathroom. When I came back our food had come and my ex had taken ONE small bite out of my burger… I started bawling. He offered to get me another one and I said “no, it’s not that.” He says “what is then.” I start crying even harder and said “I don’t knooooooow!” I knew it was ridiculous and couldn’t do a thing about it. Even in the middle of sobbing, I was half laughing lol

  22. Breanna says:

    I totally cried the other night when my roommate kept me from sleeping, and it was almost midnight, and I had to get up at six the next morning! All I wanted was to sleep, so it was really upsetting when I couldn’t!

  23. the only thing I really cry/cried about is when my back is hurting so bad and I just want some relief. It’s not really funny, but i just wish someone would just touch my back and be like “your healed lol”

  24. Carissa13 says:

    I cried because my fiance scared me when we were goofing off and playing, he scared me and the hysterical crying and running out of the room began…

  25. Leila says:

    I’ve cried over not having the food I want at the house and then because I didn’t want to go to the store to get it. I’ve cried over cute pictures and stories of animals. And I even cried last night when my fiancé wanted to stay up to watch tv a little longer when I wanted to sleep. Lol. I started crying and he asked what was wrong and I simply said, “You told me I couldn’t go to sleep.”


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