What can I do when I can't kneel at Mass?

I am pregnant right now. Its a late age, 39 years old. Nevertheless, while I remain pregnant (and I hope to), whenever I kneel at mass, I start feeling dizzy and faint, like I’m going to pass out. I’ve read this is a normal effect of pregnancy hormones which cause my blood vessels to dilate and move blood differently for the unborn baby. Unfortunately, when I do something like kneel, it now makes me want to pass out. I was kneeling at confession today, and could barely stand up and almost passed out. I managed to wing it and steal myself. But this is like, the third time I’ve gotten near-miss fainting symptoms from kneeling at church. I know if I don’t kneel, people, including the priests, may be totally offended and think I’m thumbing my nose at the blessed sacrament. Should I sit in church hallways or something, or the crying room? I feel like I’m in Catch 22 here. If I don’t kneel, I don’t faint, but people will think I’m being disrespectful of the Body of Christ. If I do, I will totally faint and have to be removed in an ambulance which would be very embarrassing.

What should I do? What is the etiquette here? I mean no disrespect, but I don’t want to make a spectacle of myself hauled out in an ambulance. Its just pregnancy hormones. Nor do I want a “talking to” when members complain to the priests if/when I don’t kneel. Help!


For heaven’s sake, sit down. Many people have to sit for health reasons. Do not worry about this.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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