Pregnancy is a magical prelude to welcoming a bundle of joy into the world and becoming a parent. For first-timers, though, it can also be a period filled with anxiety, uncertainty and butting heads with your partner. Couples often report an increase in disagreements (and full-fledged fights!) during pregnancy. The surge of hormones that floods a pregnant woman can leave her feeling extra emotional, moody, and unpredictable. It's normal for a man to feel a little out of sorts when his partner is changing before his very eyes, and he doesn't seem to have the solutions to make her feel better.
Not to worry. All men, at one point or another, go through this. Just as labor and childbirth are a rite of passage for women, surviving pregnancy is one for men! It's totally normal to feel frustrated, alienated, and just plain confused, from time to time. Yes, you're expected to be extra supportive of your partner while her body is transitioning and busy building your child. Yes, she'll rely on you to pick up the slack on chores, errands, and basic duties. That comes with the territory.
This guide is aimed at men who might feel a little frazzled during their partners' pregnancy. Before losing your cool and taking it out on her (not suggested), read through this guide, and see for yourself. You're likely not experiencing something that men before you haven't been through. Here are 15 Thoughts Every Guy Has About His Pregnant Girlfriend
15 Is She Really Going To Eat All That?
The answer is probably "yes." Women's appetites fluctuate during pregnancy and generally increase around the second trimester. If your girlfriend had a hard time with morning sickness early on, she might be even more likely to indulge when her appetite comes back. This is totally normal and really isn't the time to start making comments (you shouldn't be commenting on what she eats, anyways!) So, the best way to deal with the increased appetite? Be ready to make a lot of extra trips to the grocery store/fast food joint or ice cream parlor. Join in the fun while you can, but don't be surprised if you put on a few extra pounds during the pregnancy, too.
14 How Am I Going To Survive Labour?
You're naturally more concerned about her experience with labor, but it's totally normal to have major anxiety about how you're going to react during the big day, too. For first-time dads, the anticipation of being present while your baby is being birthed can be stressful. The fact that no one goes into labor with an itinerary or an outline of how things are going to pan out causes even more jitters. This is totally normal. To be honest, your girlfriend will be so focused on her contractions and labor pains that she won't have much time to focus on you. Of course, being there for support is super important. Be there, but don't get too in her hair. Too many questions during labor might cause her to cuss and scratch. You've been warned.
13 Why Is She So Mad At Me?
If you feel like your pregnant lady is always mad at you, you're not alone. A shortened temper can stem from a lot of different unpleasant physiological changes that she's going through. Cramping, acid reflux, trouble sleeping, and heartburn are just some of the unfavorable side effects of pregnancy. Not to mention, the added weight gain can put a lot of strain on her back, legs, and feet. Nine months is a really long time to not be feeling your best, so try to be patient! Not only that, hormonal changes can drastically alter her mood. This is a period when every woman needs to rest, stay as relaxed as possible, and focus on the baby growing on the inside. Try to keep the peace, and certainly don't take it personally if she seems a little grumpy.
12 Are The Added Curves Here To Stay?
One pregnancy perk is the sudden onset of curves that your lady is going to be blessed with. For some, a rounder tummy and chest aren't welcome, but others embrace their most voluptuous pregnant shapes. In many cases, men are supportive of this change! So, you want to know if the curves are here to stay, right? The truth is, probably not. Most women go back to their pre-pregnancy shapes (more or less) within about a year of giving birth. Others will stay curvier for longer--perhaps permanently--but it's really not something that can be guaranteed. It's great to compliment your woman on her changing shape during pregnancy, but don't make her feel like she wasn't beautiful before either.
11 Why Is She Snoring All Of A Sudden?
Snoring in pregnancy is super common, even amongst women who don't snore in their non-pregnant lives. The reasons for this are varied. It could have to do with the increase in blood in the woman's body, which can lead to swelling in the nasal passage. This also explains why women get frequent nosebleeds during pregnancy. Added weight also contributes to snoring. Extra fat in the neck and chest can cause breathing to be heavier and louder, especially during sleeping hours. Sleeping on the side is recommended for pregnant women once their bumps are starting to show, and this should also help reduce the snoring problem. In the meantime, invest in some earplugs, and remember, it's temporary. You probably snore, too.
10 Why Is She So Forgetful?
Welcome to pregnancy brain, fellas. This generally gets progressively worse over the course of your woman's pregnancy, so you might want to get used to her more frequent forgetful episodes. Forgetting things, misplacing things, and suffering from a generally foggy brain are all par for the course during pregnancy. In fact, don't expect her to bounce back entirely to her pre-pregnant brain because, once the baby is born, she'll have what we call 'mom brain.' This is pretty much just a continuation of the forgetfulness, absentmindedness, and lapses of judgment. It's all perfectly normal, though. Her focus will be mainly on the important things, like keeping your baby alive.
9 Why Doesn't She Laugh At My Jokes Anymore?
Do you notice a change in your girlfriend's sense of humor ever since she's been with child? If so, you're not alone. Many men have reported that they feel like their preggo partners aren't laughing at their jokes the way they used to. Again, guys, this isn't at all personal. The body changes; the hormone fluctuations and the very normal preoccupation with the inevitable labor looming ahead might all be contributing factors. The truth is, it takes time to adjust to both pregnancy and parenthood. Both seem pretty mystical and daunting for a first-timer, so go easy on your lady. Deep down, she's still the same girl; she just happens to have quite a lot more on her mind these days.
8 How Many Pillows Does She Need?
One thing a pregnant woman loves more than chocolate brownie fudge ice cream is a bed full of fluffy, soft pillows. Don't be surprised if the number of pillows in your bed increases as the months go on. This is because a pregnant woman's body gets harder and harder to find comfortable positions as her belly (and everything else) expands. Pillows offer a cushion between her body and the outside world. The more, the merrier. It wouldn't be a bad idea to stock up on some extras for those long, sleepless nights that are bound to strike your lady down somewhere between months six and nine. She'll appreciate your attention to detail, and maybe, you'll get some preggo snuggles, too.
7 Will She Always Be This Lazy?
Pregnancy definitely goes hand in hand with fatigue, and sometimes, total exhaustion. Your lady's body is super busy building and nurturing a tiny human. No wonder she isn't feeling as energized as before! Go easy on her, and let her rest. Every system in her body is basically working overtime--for her needs and for the baby's needs. If you want to help out, you can give her a nice massage from time to time, and keep an eye on her nutrition. A diet too low in iron or protein can often cause additional sleepiness and lack of energy, so this should be kept in check. Her doctor should be monitoring iron levels at each appointment, but it's not a bad idea to sprinkle some extra spinach on that slice of greasy pizza for good measure.
6 Why Are You So Fine?
You know when men say that women are at their hottest when they're pregnant? Well, that's not a myth. Maybe it has something to do with primal attraction and a man's need to procreate. Either way, there's just something so hot about a lady with a big 'ol baby bump. The glow, the curves, the fact that she's about to become a hot mom--all of these things are appealing. It's totally normal to feel a surge in attraction towards your preggo lady. Don't be discouraged if she doesn't immediately reciprocate the feelings; she's got a lot on her plate, and physical intimacy isn't always a top priority when you're dealing with aches, pains, and nausea. Be patient, and soak in the view while you can.
5 Do We Really Need To Buy All Of This Baby Stuff?
Most women have an inherent love of shopping. Throw in the fact that a baby is going to make it's debut imminently, and you might have a little problem on your hands. The truth is, first-time moms love to shop. Before the baby arrives, the pregnant lady is still living in a fairy tale bubble of pregnancy bliss. Cute outfits cannot be passed by without being purchased, and the most minute gadget will find a place in your home. The good news is that once baby is on the scene, your lady might come down to Earth and start being a little more modest in her spending. Most of the time, you end up with way too much stuff and actually want to donate or give some away to friends.
4 Will I Ever Be Able To Go Out Again?
Here's a pretty common concern for most men (all of them) who like to have a bit of a social life outside of their relationship. It might seem like you're on house arrest during the pregnancy. This might be a twofold problem; your lady is a little more grumpy when you want to go out 'cause she has FOMO or is just being emo, or, you might feel guilty for going out, so you don't plan anything anymore. When the baby comes, you might fear that the problem will get even worse. Truthfully, good balance is achieved when both partners feel like they can enjoy time with friends without being guilt-tripped. Suggest that your lady goes out with friends to get a pedicure or have a (non-alcoholic) drink from time to time. If she's feeling good about her free time, she won't hold yours against you.
3 Am I Going To Be A Good Dad?
Men are naturally wired to want to provide for their families--work hard, support the kids and wife, and hopefully live a happy life. But even if these instincts come naturally to them (most of them, not all), it's still super common and very normal to get cold feet about the upcoming task at hand. Becoming a father is a huge life-changing event. Women get nine months of pregnancy to prepare for their transition into motherhood. In fact, from the moment that a woman finds out she's pregnant, she's basically forced to embrace motherhood. It's not as easy for men, who go from non-fathers to fathers in about as long as it takes to push the baby out. Despite this, you'll be fine, and we trust your skills.
2 Do I Need To Go To Every Doctor's Appointment?
So, this really depends on your girlfriend's expectation level and also her level of independence. Some women are super happy to have you attend the special appointments (ultrasounds) and let her go in alone for the not-so-special ones (the glucose test). Ultimately, you'll have to review with your lady what works best for both. If she's super squeamish in hospitals? Maybe suck it up and go to all of the appointments. On the other hand, if the thought of you watching her get a gyno exam freaks her out, you're OK to not attend. Just make sure you're there for the most important appointment--when her labor starts and you have to go to the hospital to welcome the babe.
1 What Can I Do To Help During Labour?
This is another thing that'll depend on so many factors. What are the circumstances around the birth? Is your girlfriend attempting a natural delivery? Is she scheduled for a C-section? The truth is, there isn't a whole lot you can do, but being there is important for the woman to feel supported. If she does need something, chances are, she'll tell you or ask you. Often, you'll take on the role of messenger--delivering news and updates to family members, calling mothers and worried aunts. Do your best not to panic or show too much worry; if you look like you're not in control, your gal might get scared, and that can affect her birthing experience.
Sources: babycenter.com; huffingtonpost.com