Sure, women have a tough time of it when they get pregnant — there’s all that weight gain, mood swings, and strange cravings (pickles and ice cream?). Clearly it’s not easy creating another life inside your own body. Don’t think for a moment, however, that guys have it completely easy during pregnancy. There’s a lot that goes on with them as well and, as if that weren’t enough, they have to deal with a pregnant woman for nine months.
But seriously, guys don’t get a free ride while a woman is pregnant. In fact, neuro-psychiatrist Dr. Louann Brizendine, author of The Male Brain: A Breakthrough Understanding of How Men and Boys Think, has found that there are very real changes that men go through while their partner is pregnant. “When the men finally find out,” she says, “they’re already behind in processing this huge transition, initially feeling very excited but ultimately, when the reality sets in, anxious about being on a runaway train.” This leads to crankiness on his part, just one of a number of things to expect from him while you’re the one gestating.
Other male symptoms of pregnancy include hormonal changes — yep, guys go through that too — and nesting. If you thought he was handy before, get ready for a whole new level of building. “Where as women see the baby as a soft little creature to dress in soft little clothes,” Dr. Brizendine explains, “men’s focus is often on construction and equipment of all kinds — whether it’s a new family car, stroller or high chair.” This might be a good time to let him loose in Ikea with a shopping list for your new kitchen.
Guys also do gain “sympathy weight” while their partner is pregnant and can even experience symptoms like nausea and vomiting. So go easy on him ladies and remember that, while what he experiences may not be as unpleasant or as intense as what you’re going through, pregnancy isn’t all sweetness and light for him either.
Photo: Omar Franc