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My Wife is Pregnant

Updated on July 26, 2012
So you're going to be a dad! Congratulations! There is plenty you need to know to make the next 9 months go smoothly - read on to find out more.
So you're going to be a dad! Congratulations! There is plenty you need to know to make the next 9 months go smoothly - read on to find out more. | Source

Pregnancy and Dads

When my wife fell pregnant I was over the moon. I was so excited I immediately started researching what I could expect to happen over the next 9 months. I was quite surprised at how little information there was available for the expectant father. The internet is awash with sites aimed at mums-to-be, but very few directed at dads.

A trip to the bookstore only compounded this. Of the 43 separate books discussing pregnancy, a mere 3 were aimed at dads-to-be. I was appalled. We men are constantly berated for not showing enough interest in the personal lives of our children and partners, and yet when we try to be proactive, we find very little to help us.

Look hard enough, and there is plenty of information. Most of the basics are covered in the myriad of (female-oriented) baby books mentioned above. I thought I would round out the picture and fill you in on some of the things that I wasn't told, didn't read, and had to find out on my own

Pregnant Women Must Avoid Certain Foods

It is not just alcohol and tobacco a pregnant woman must avoid, there is a myriad of foods that should be given a wide-berth, particularly early on.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Avoid Completely
Limit (once a week)
Be careful with
Grouper
Cold meats
Vegetables - thoroughly wash
Mackeral
Soft-serve ice cream/frozen yoghurt
Fruit - thoroughly wash
Marlin
Halibut
Eggs - must be thoroughly cooked
Orange Roughy
Tuna
Meat - thoroughly cooked only
Shark
Lobster
 
Swordfish
 
 
Raw eggs and Raw meat
 
 
Soft Cheese (Brie, Camembert, feta, Roquefort)
 
 
Most of the fish on this list have high levels of mercury which can lead to birth defects Cold meat, Yoghurt, soft cheese and unwashed vegetables can harbour Listeria, and Salmonella and transmit toxoplasmosis - all dangerous for your unborn child

Strangers Will Start Touching Your Partner's Belly

This has been the most disturbing thing I have had to come to terms with. My wife isn't crazy about it either. You can be stood in line in a store and suddenly some stranger will come up, place two hands on your partner's stomach and start firing off questions as if this person had known her for years! For some reason, people seem to think that a pregnant woman's bump is public property.

You can buy t-shirts that can ward off would-be tummy-touchers! Some of them are quite funny

Morning Sickness is not just in the Morning...

...or for the first few weeks.

Granted, it can be with some women. Indeed, some women never experience morning sickness and breeze through their pregnancies. We were not so lucky. My wife was sick every day, several times a day, morning and night...for 27 weeks.

It is here where you have to show some sympathy and respect for what your partner is going through. Little acts of random kindness go a long way: making her cups of tea, rubbing her back and feet, taking over the household chores are all great gestures! Telling her to close the door so you can hear the football...not so much.

If the sound and sight of your partner vomiting is likely to induce the same in you, there are things that can help:

  • Stay cool - maybe using a small handheld fan (this will be useful for your partner during the birth)
  • Dab something under your nose that smells really good to you
  • Avoid her trigger foods - if she doesn't get sick, neither will you.

Scan photos are your first link to your child as a Dad. They are life-altering moments...but they will cost you some money so don't forget to take some. In cash.
Scan photos are your first link to your child as a Dad. They are life-altering moments...but they will cost you some money so don't forget to take some. In cash. | Source

(UK) You May Have to Pay for your Scan Pictures

I know this is the norm across the pond, but when my wife and I went to our 12 week scan, we didn't think to take any money.

The NHS is a free at point of use National Healthcare system. Pregnancy scans are not included in this. Each NHS trust charges a different amount for a print out of your scan photo. Some trusts will charge you a few pounds, ours charged us £10 for a single photo.

Oh...and most hospitals only accept cash.

Pregnant Women Pee....a lot.

Unborn babies seem to think that the female bladder is some sort of squeeze toy, to be played with as often as possible...particularly at night. Your partner is going to start using the bathroom much more now she is pregnant. So make sure the seat is down and the bowl is clean!

If you are planning a trip you need to factor this in. If you are the sort of driver who only stops mid-journey if the highway suddenly and mysteriously stops, you are going to need to make allowances for your partner's pee-schedule. She is not going every 30 minutes just to annoy you.

Would you touch a strangers pregnancy bump?

See results

Pregnant Women Sleep...a lot

I was always amazed that my wife would wake up on a Saturday morning and, within a matter of hours, would be asleep on the sofa for hours at a time. Returning home from work I would often come home to my wife asleep on the couch.

It is perhaps misleading to say that pregnant women sleep a lot - more accurate would be to say they are constantly tired and are sleeping whilst you are awake. With a normal sleep cycle heavily disrupted due to a kicking sproglet and the constant urge to pee, pregnant women need to make up the difference where they can.

Be sympathetic to this. Your partner is not just being lazy or trying to get out of doing the chores. She is growing another person inside her and lugging it around all day. It would take it out of you too!

Pregnant Women Shouldn't Eat for Two

Pregnant women only need around 100 - 300 calories extra a day, particularly in the first few months. The more weight she gains during pregnancy, the more she will have to lose when the baby arrives. You don't want to turn into the food police, but you wat to be the voice of restraint - particularly after any nausea passes.

After the first trimester (12 weeks) a weight gain of around 1 pound (0.5kg) per week is considered normal. A total weight gain on average should be between 25-35 pounds (11.5-16kg)

Books for Dads-to-Be

Dad's Guide to Pregnancy For Dummies
Dad's Guide to Pregnancy For Dummies

Don't be put off! This book has been my Bible. It takes you through all of the stages of pregnancy and beyond. Great advice in a down-to-earth fashion. Includes advice on budgeting, preparing the nursery, birthing options and huges amounts of things you never thought of but will be glad you know!

 

It is Safe to have Sex during Pregnancy

...although your partner may not want it!

Your penis is not long enough to hit or poke the baby during sex. You are not going to crush the baby during sex (your partner will probably punch you before this happens). The baby cannot see your penis during sex. Your semen is not going to coat the baby upon completion of sex.

Sex is perfectly healthy during pregnancy and is a perfectly acceptable way of being intimate with your partner (take advantage of this while you can - in 9 months time your sex life will take an abrupt downturn). However, you may wish to speak to your doctor first (i.e before sex) if your partner has ever had any of the following:

  • Miscarriage
  • Heavy Bleeding during pregnancy
  • Premature Labour
  • Weakened cervix

You should also seek medical advice if your partner currently is experiencing

  • Being pregnant with multiples (that's twins or more)
  • Leaking Amniotic Fluid
  • Placenta praevia

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    • april holland profile image

      April Savage 4 years ago from Florida

      Thank you for clarifying this for men!! It is refreshing to see a man who completely loves his wife enough to really understand what she is going through. Good hub and great job!!!

    • TFScientist profile image
      Author

      Rhys Baker 4 years ago from Peterborough, UK

      Thank you, April. I will show my wife this comment :)

      Seriously though, I am in awe at how my wife has coped through this hellish pregnancy. I couldn't do it. Hopefully my experiences will be useful for more dads-to-be out there!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • adjkp25 profile image

      David 4 years ago from Northern California

      Seeing my wife go through 2 pregnancies I can certainly relate to what you have said here. Unfortunately for the dads to be there isn't much we can do. I focused on making sure she was comfortable and got anything I could get for her, including the late night cravings.

      After the first pregnancy I knew there was no way I could have gone through what she did, and it was an easy pregnancy compared to our daughters about two years later. I have joked with her on more than one occasion that if men had to bear children humans would have become extinct by now.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Cre8tor profile image

      Dan Robbins 4 years ago from Ohio

      I like this a lot. Very accurate, informative and very funny as well. After 3 boys, I always laugh at those who are expecting their first so unaware of what is about to happen in their life. I wouldn't change it for the world but there is no doubt, life is about to be....different. My co-worker just had his first and it's been a lot of fun watching him now that I'm a "seasoned professional".

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      I'm so happy to read this! My husband found the lack of information for dads appalling also. He ended up reading my books along with me for our first and second pregnancies, and he was very supportive. I especially agree with your statement about how everyone expects dads to be supportive, yet there is no information aimed at dads. Thank you for correcting that problem!!

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Great to see a man expressing what they feel and do when partners are expecting.

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      TF Scientist - you should definitely write a book on this which should be required reading for all pregnant couples. Really interested and insightful. I'm horrified that random strangers do the bump touching thing. There would be a lot of slapped faces in the vicinity were it to happen near me!

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