A Pregnancy Survival Guide for Men

IMAGE 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 9 months, you are not alone.

The First Trimester: Hormones, Exhaustion, and Morning Sickness

Your wife may feel fine during the first few months of pregnancy, or she may be exhausted and need a couple of 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

  • Help her find safe foods. Ask her healthcare provider for recommendations. In general, avoid foods that upset the stomach, such as those that are fried or spicy.Some women find that crackers, ginger ale, or lemonade help. Some women may find that an empty stomach causes extreme nausea. Suggest eating frequent, smaller meals. It is important to stay hydrated. Make sure she drinks plenty of water throughout the day
  • Give your wife support. Do some research. There is a lot of information 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.

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