Men battle to understand women at the best of times, but throw in the advent of a new bundle of joy and they are thrown for a loop. In this light-hearted article we provide some pregnancy tips for the daddy to be on how to handle the situation and get out safely. This guide is written about pregnant women in general and is not meant to offend but rather give some insights.
- Women like attention:
From the moment that you announce the pregnancy – she is the centre of attention, not you. From the moment the baby is born, they will both be the centre of attention, again not you. So be prepared to be the supporting act, the backstage cast and basically invisible for the next while. Girls like attention in general – affection, love, care and presents (presents help a lot!). Try to compliment her once a day, read point 5 for advice on the right kind of compliments.
- She is confused too:
She can’t explain her cravings either! Pregnancy is a toil of physical, emotional and mental strength and she is probably feeling like her body is out of her control right now. Morning sickness is not aptly named and has nothing to do with the time of day. Everyone has heard the expression “eating for two” so we all know how important food is to a pregnant woman. What most might not realise is how time sensitive this can be. When she says that she wants ice-cream now, she means NOW! (Even if this is at 2am in the middle of winter, and makes no sense to a logical human brain). Your best bet to surviving the next nine months is to become a vending machine of snacks.
- Emotional Rollercoaster
Refer to the point above about the time sensitive nature of giving her food when requested. By following this you will survive an emotional outburst or at the worst bodily harm. Remember pregnancy is hard work! Even if it looks like she is doing nothing, she is growing a perfect human inside! Everything feels out of whack for her and her moods will be up and down. Dote on her and realise how easy you have it. You have done your part and can now drink and eat whatever you want until the delivery day. Dote on her and look at this as a blessing.
- Weight gain:
As food is a very big part of a pregnant woman’s life expect some weight gain. This is healthy; I mean she is growing a new life inside of her. Cravings are a part of the game and will differ with each pregnancy. The unspoken side effect of pregnancy is all the weight that the partner gains. This is possibly due to the fact that junk food inhabits your space more than before. Many experts have labelled this “sympathy pregnancy”, but beware because this can lead to a spare tyre around your middle very quickly. Which leads us to the next point about not mentioning her weight gain.
- Avoid phrases like “look how big you are getting”
I was once told that this is something that you say to a small child, but NEVER to a pregnant woman! Even if you think her growing belly is the cutest thing, do not mention it. She is currently on an emotional rollercoaster and will interpret this as a sign that you are calling her fat. It’s logical that pregnant women will gain weight, but their brains are just wired differently for the moment. A lot of pregnant women describe themselves as beached whales, she will want to know that you still think that she is beautiful and find her attractive.
- “Pregnancy Brain” is real
This may sound like a cute term concocted by the media, but this can be very real. You may first notice it when your partner spends an hour looking for the glasses on her head or puts the car keys in the fridge. It involves a lot of forgetfulness and absentmindedness. Don’t make the mistake of pointing out that she left the door open in winter, causing you to freeze and leaving you vulnerable to a robbery. Simply fix any mistake and be supportive. After all she has a lot on her mind right now. The other side effects include emotional outbursts; we used the term “emotional rollercoaster”. It can be very hard for pregnant women to keep their emotions level with all the hormones floating around their body. Don’t pick fights with her and follow the marriage rule of “yes dear”.
- Sense of Humour fail
If you have a particularly sarcastic sense of humour that can be described as snarky, you may want to dial it back a bit. Your partner still has a sense of humour, but her usual acceptance of your unique humour may not be as well received as before. This may have a lot to do with the fact that most pregnant women are exhausted! They feel tired and run-down and at that particular moment may just not be in the mood for one of your jokes.
- You may be replaced with pillows
The full body pillow may be the pregnant woman’s best friend and sole nighttime companion. Her body is sore and she is uncomfortable, often propping herself with pillows is the only way that she can get some sleep. Accept this, you may even take up permanent residence on the couch. She may also wake a few times during the night for a bathroom break; if you are a light sleeper you may prefer another room. This is preparing her body for the nighttime feedings and a general lack of sleep.
- Don’t treat her like glass
Men often become overprotective when it comes to a pregnant woman. This is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Try to help her with all the heavy lifting, opening doors and carrying parcels. Do this in a way that ensures that she doesn’t feel like you are treating her like she is incapable, but rather being supportive.
- Every pregnancy is different:
Just like as humans we are all different, so too is every pregnancy. Some women will share their food; others will bite off your head. Some pregnant women like massages and being touched, while others don’t. Some have cravings for things that they normally can’t stand. This is normal and your partner may be all of these different women during her pregnancy – as we said, we don’t understand it either.
- You cannot complain
Until you can carry your own child, you cannot complain about a single thing related to the pregnancy. She has the trump card for this round and all your complaints are instantly dismissed! You need to simply go with the flow. One moment you will be all for an epidural and the next totally against it. Be flexible, this is preparing you for the many bumps in the road that will rise ahead. Remember this too shall pass!by