A Pregnancy Survival Guide for Men
Your wife's belly is burgeoning, baby furniture has maxed out your credit cards, and you have not had sex in weeks. Somehow, pregnancy is not exactly what you or your wife had envisioned. Your once loving, carefree wife has become cranky and constantly nauseous. Welcome to the world of expectant fatherhood.
Any type of adjustment is stressful, and preparing for a baby is an enormous change in one's lifestyle, mindset, and physical environment. If you find yourself wondering how you or your spouse will make it through the next nine months, you are not alone.
Your wife may feel fine during the first few months of pregnancy, or she may be exhausted and need two naps a day. Her hormones are hard at work, shaping the new life she carries within her. Sad movies, baby clothes, or even a minor disagreement may propel her into a crying spell. Remember that hormonal shifts are temporary and eventually your wife's moods and emotions will return to normal.
Morning sickness, or queasiness, affects only some women and most find that this annoying symptom disappears in 2-3 months. Unfortunately, morning sickness is a poor name for this symptom of pregnancy since many women are sick all day and night. Food odors or other smells may trigger nausea, as may eating certain foods. Some men find that the sight or sound of their spouse getting sick is enough to send them running to the bathroom as well.
Here's What You Can Do
For Your Wife
- Help her find safe foods. Ask her healthcare provider for recommendations. Some women find that crackers, ginger ale, or lemonade help. Some women may find that an empty stomach causes extreme nausea.
- Give your wife support. Believe it or not, there are books about morning sickness and how to conquer the symptoms. Ask a nutritionist or healthcare provider to help guide you through this time.
- Stay active. Stick to your weekly physical fitness routine and activities. Find a friend who enjoys the same sports or hobbies and get out of the house.
- Talk to a trusted friend, particularly one who is also a new dad. Or maybe even your own dad. You will be surprised that your apprehension and fear are extremely common.
Last reviewedSeptember 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.