Pregnancy alters a woman’s life in ways she had not foreseen or even expected. These changes are not just physical but emotional and financial as well. As the baby grows, the physical changes are quite easy to see, but what comes as a surprise are the effects pregnancy has on a woman’s partner. Most mothers view these changes as just mirroring of her own, but it now emerges that these changes are as legitimate as hers are.
Growing another human life is no mean feat and partners will never quite grasp what it is like to do that, but studies now show that the concept of sympathy pregnancy symptoms exists. When a woman is pregnant, it is possible to see some subtle changes in her partner's habits, attitude, and physique. From tons of baby research to size changes, this condition known as the couvade syndrome turns a man into a real partner in pregnancy. According to Pampers, “Researchers say that up to 60 percent of men experience some sort of physical symptoms when their partners are pregnant.”
Not all men are afflicted with this condition but that does not mean they are any less committed to the pregnancy. Having a partner who is not in constant panic mode and who calmly evaluates the pregnancy and holds her hair as she goes through morning sickness may be exactly what the new mother needs to get through the nine months of pregnancy.
20 Size changes
Women are encouraged to gain a few pounds in pregnancy but due to the cravings, those few pounds the doctor wants us to gain can escalate into quite a lot.
Good news, chances are, this time around you may not be the only one packing on.
According to VIX Logo, “the explanation of weight gain in men is due to cortisol known as "stress hormone." This hormone is the one that also secretes in situations of fear or anxiety. Since cortisol is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels, many times the man may feel that he is hungry when he actually isn’t. In addition, the cortisol directs the placement of fat in the body in which they will lodge those other kilos and that site is neither more nor less than the belly.”
19 Mood Swings
Women experience moments of sadness and sadness in pregnancy or even a detergent commercial on TV can turn them into a bundle of emotions.
These irrational pregnancy mood swings can also hit your better half.
According to the Talko, “Mood swings may be a common pregnancy symptom but surprise! Your partner can have them. This sympathy symptom may be a bit easier to understand than others — pregnancy marks a new chapter in your lives. The excitement (and stress) of bringing a new person into the world is daunting. The best thing to do is to be supportive of each other and try not to take any emotional outbursts to heart.”
The monster that is nausea is experienced by most women in the first three months of their pregnancy primarily due to the hormonal changes she goes through during pregnancy. Dads can also go through sessions of nausea, but theirs is not related to hormones.
Dad’s nausea is as a result of anxiety and stress that can be attributed to the expected baby.
Men who are not quite prepared for a baby may be overly anxious due to the expected financial strain and more so if his job is not stable and the income is low. Sharing this feeling with his partner, as well as keeping in shape will help ease the situation.
Some of us never get cravings, but for others, midnight runs to the fast food joint is a normal part of their pregnancy. Pregnancy cravings are a lot like the normal cravings we get for beverages or food but this comes with a greater intensity and the feeling that one needs to have it immediately.
Cravings may come and go but what can be quite amusing is to discover that your partner is suddenly in the mood for mac and cheese with avocado.
He may not be physically pregnant but for some reason, his brain gets the same pregnancy urgency to have it now.
16 Itchy Skin
Feeling itchy is normal for most women due to the pregnancy hormones swirling inside their body. During the second trimester, itchy skin is nothing to worry about, but if it happens in the first and last trimester, it may be time to see your doctor about it.
Your partner too may get the itch during pregnancy as a sympathy symptom.
If this happens, it is advisable to ensure that both partners device ways to prevent the skin from drying out, which is a sure way of worsening the situation. Invest in natural moisturizers and unscented oils and creams. Some great bonding time can come about by slathering moisturizer on each other.
The thought of being responsible for the life of another can be scary and is enough to fill anyone with anxiety. The fear of parenthood plagues everyone and if mom thinks she is scared, dad is even more scared. If it’s a girl he wonders if he will be a good enough father and how he is going to keep the boys off his little girl. If it’s a boy, he wonders if he will be a good enough role model.
Either way, his life is full of anxiety from the minute mom announces she’s pregnant.
There are times when parents are plagued by anxiety and they are left feeling helpless. The best way to cope is to find ways that help both partners distress.
14 Aches all over
Body cramps are not for mothers alone in pregnancy. For women, cramps may be a sign of danger while some body aches could be attributed to the added weight she is carrying along. Dads too, share in this affliction and it is not surprising to hear dad saying he has body aches during pregnancy.
While there is no verifiable reason why this happens, the aches could be due to the identification mechanism that has the man mirroring his partner's symptoms.
To reduce some of these symptoms, it is advisable to do some mild exercise coupled with the right diet and at least eight hours of sleep.
13 Hormonal Changes
Pregnancy is a journey that is characterized by a rollercoaster of hormonal changes. From rises in prolactin to drops in progesterone, men go through too. Men are not always known for being reliable or caring, but the minute a woman gets pregnant, thanks to all those little hormones swirling around in his body, he becomes the perfect companion in a journey that would otherwise be quite difficult for the mother.
It is the hormonal changes that turn a man who would not have remembered to bring home a carton of milk into the right-on-time ice cream bearing, compassionate and loving husband.
12 He’s Nesting Too – Or at Least Building One
In the last trimester, most women get the urge to nest and get as organized as possible in preparation for the new baby. This is where the woman scrubs and disinfects everything. This desire to nest is brought on by the fact that the body is making preparations to give birth and so we subconsciously make plans to ensure that the house is inviting for the expected guest.
The man too will also be doing the same. One should not be surprised to wake up at night and find the man painting the nursery or making a baby crib from scratch. According to Babble, “If he was handy around the house, expect him to get handier.”
The worst feeling a woman gets is heartburn. This feeling can be horrible and even more so since there seems to be no sure way of getting rid of it. The production of progesterone during pregnancy relaxes all the muscles, including the esophagus valve leading to the stomach, allowing stomach acid to bubble up. This sensation for some women is so bad that some resort to eating ashes, milk and even raw carrots.
The doctor may prescribe some medication to reduce heartburn, but nothing quite clears it. While indigestion for the woman can be easily explained, when it comes to the man, there are no clear explanations and the remedy is to take plenty of water and exercise and over the counter meds can help. According to Living and Loving, heartburn could be because one is stressed or nervous. Talking to other dads who have been there can help.
10 Change In Appetite
Women get an increase in appetite during pregnancy and most of the days, they are so hungry that it seems like there is a hole the food keeps dropping through. This hunger is normally caused by the demands that are brought about by the growing baby especially in the second trimester.
There are days, however, when the woman does not have a desire for food and her appetite drops, something that can be worrying for those whose weight gain has not been adequate, and exciting for those who have packed on a few extra. The man to goes through the same phases and this is the reason why men too pack on a few pounds during pregnancy.
9 #2 problems
Diarrhea in pregnancy is quite common and it can happen due to a number of reasons, including changes in diet leading to unfavorable reactions to food, even to foods that were a previous favorite. There are those who suffer from diarrhea due to the effect of prenatal vitamins. Men too, get the same reaction, especially those men who are going through the same cycle of hormonal changes.
These are the men who will be rushing to the bathroom as many times as the mom is. If hubby is snacking as much as mummy is snacking, the situation may be as bad for him as it is for the mother.
8 clogged up
Most of us go through this during pregnancy and the feeling can be quite devastating. This condition is because of the dietary changes most women adopt during pregnancy and the hormonal changes women go through. When a woman is pregnant, digestion slows down and it is this problem that leads to constipation.
To help alleviate this problem women are advised to drink lots of water and increase their fiber intake. Men also go through this problem in pregnancy and the advice is still the same. Eat more fiber and drink more water and participate as some form of exercise to push things along.
Most people believe that a woman loses a tooth for every child that they have. This was true in yesteryears when dental technology was not as advanced. In this age though, when a woman is pregnant, she goes in for a medical checkup in advance and measures are put in place to ensure that she does not lose her teeth.
This is where the doctor gives the mother-to-be the dos and dont's, as well as the right diet to keep her teeth healthy. Men will get toothaches as part of a pregnancy symptom. The remedy in his case is to see a dentist and clear any doubt.
Most of us get headaches and they can be quite debilitating, turning an otherwise okay day into a nightmare. During pregnancy, mom has even worse headaches and more so because she cannot take an over the counter pain reliever.
There are those men who are proud of the fact that they are offering companionship to the woman during this journey, but this pride hits a rock when the headaches start. Dehydration sometimes causes headaches, but if this is not the case, have the guy take some pain meds because at least in his case he is allowed to pop a few.
Women do not have a perfect sleeping position during pregnancy and one would be lying if they said that they sleep well during pregnancy. As the pregnancy grows, so does insomnia caused by exhaustion and the normal hormonal culprit. This is made worse by the fact that one has to visit the bathroom every two minutes.
In a situation like this, it takes a saint to have sympathy for a guy who is mimicking your lack of sleep and complaining of fatigue at this juncture. This is something that was quite adorable at first but can reach the height of irritating.
4 Higher Pressure
Expectant parents get stressed and this is even worse for parents with no clue what to expect. The flight hormone in most men is in top gear and then as the time flies so does his fear and anxiety. Stress is known to release these flight hormones in our bodies and this, in turn, elevates blood pressure owing to the fact that the heart is now pumping faster.
Men have been known to have a spike in blood pressure during pregnancy, a condition that can be devastating. To ensure that he is around when the baby is born, it is advisable that he see the doctor.
3 Taking Child Birthing Classes
Getting your partner to go to birthing classes with you can be a mean feat and most people have to use a friend when attending classes. They are quite useful for the mother-to-be and especially so if she is a new mother. There are those men though who have the desire to learn all about taking care of a baby and what to expect.
This is the men who will call and register you both for that birthing class and who will be in every one of them on time, asking a question and even taking notes. Even though childbirth can be unpredictable, this dad will be prepared.
2 He Becomes A Know-It-All
These days, we are always on the Internet googling one item after the other. Most of us ask the Internet questions before we can ask the doctor and don’t even let us start on parenting. Most parents no longer trust the pediatrician and even when they are given medication they still have to ask Dr. Google.
Our partners go through this phase too. Because he really has no involvement in the growing pregnancy, he may feel like all he has to do is watch the process from the sideline. To help feel more involved, he becomes a Google dad, looking up and finding out about every symptom and remedy and will have a recommendation on everything in the pregnancy.
1 Changes in "drive"
Women's drive changes as the pregnancy progress. From zero desire in the first trimester to hot and heavy in the second trimester and back again. This is not for mom alone. Men too go through the same phases and this can be quite frustrating for the partners.
There are those men who find their partners particularly attractive during this time and love the body transformation they go through in pregnancy. Then there are those who choose to avoid closeness for fear they may somehow harm or hurt the baby. These changes should be discussed by both partners in order to ensure that they both know what is going on and find a way forward.