Emetophobia and the struggle of motherhood

Hypnotherapy and Hypnobalancing™ in Berlin
Psychotherapy in Berlin - Specialization: Fears and Anxiety Disorders

Emetophobia and motherhood


There is a phobia called emetophobia — it causes overwhelming, intense anxiety related to vomiting. This anxiety disorder is uncomfortable enough. It often stands in the way of those affected when they want to have a child.









Emetophobia when wanting to have a child


Emetophobia, which is the fear of either vomiting yourself or seeing or hearing other people doing it. On closer inspection, it is slightly different for each individual affected. But there are some common characteristics.

Emetophobia has an immense impact on one’s life, the people around them, and even their role as a parent. It is a common reason why a child’s wish remains unfulfilled and if it does, why the first years as parents, in particular, are associated with great challenges.

Many women come to my practice feeling in a dilemma; on the one hand, the intense desire to have a child and on the other hand the fear of expected nausea during pregnancy.

Some clients also mention the fear of not knowing if they will be able to fulfill the responsibilities once the child is born and they are confronted with its nausea. The resulting self-doubt often hurts. This can be very stressful for relationships, as it is difficult for those not affected to understand. And yet, many women with emo manage to fulfill their desire to have a child and, with support, break free from emetophobia.






Here is an example that stuck in my mind. A patient described her dilemma to me. She was a mother who could no longer pick up her child from the playground or kindergarten at the slightest sign of a stomach virus. Then her mother-in-law had to pick up the child and care for him until infection was no longer suspected. She wanted to be there for her beloved child, but she could not.

In addition to the consequences for the child, this resulted in a deep feeling of shame and guilt on the part of the mother. This put additional stress on the situation. Other parents who observed this from their point of view were not very restrained with their insulting comments. Those who are not affected themselves probably cannot imagine this themselves. The pressure is immense.

Here, special empathy and experience are required on the part of the therapist. The first step is to reduce the perceived pressure. In such cases, the use of self-help techniques right at the beginning of therapy can reduce the stressful side effects of emetophobia.

My experience shows that many emetophobics have pursued the desire to have their own family and have not regretted it. I am very grateful for patients who share such positive feedback with me. This also gives encouragement to other people affected.

Just ask me personally.


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These pages are intended to provide information for those interested in psychotherapy using hypnotherapy. It is not intended to replace psychotherapy or personal consultation, examination or diagnosis by a licensed medical practitioner. I am not a medical doctor. I specialize in helping people with anxiety and anxiety disorders. The profession of a hypnotherapist (official license to practice psychotherapy according to the HPG) is fundamentally different from that of a medical doctor. Medical diagnoses are not made, nor are promises of healing made or medication prescribed. Hypnotherapy is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric intervention where this is required.

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Published: March 12, 2007
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 15, 2023
Translation: August 23, 2019
German version:
AN: #132

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