07 December 2012

The Pregnant Dad

We all know that pregnancy is a joyous time for the family and from an outsiders perspective the mother is the only one who suffers. These 9 months can also be a time filled with both physical and emotional symptoms that affect dads. If you add the additional stresses of a military occupation, a time that should be filled with happiness can quickly become overwhelming.

Here are some things to be aware of.
1. Anxiety - The most common of all symptoms among dads.
Let's face it, the idea of a child arriving that is your responsibility to provide for can be nerve racking. Father's tend to worry about everything, but express their concerns to no one. Instead of holding it all in ask one of your friends how they make it work, you'd be surprised at what other father's know, and how often they feel the same way you do....
2. Nausea - A product of sudden change in emotion and physical intake.
Although the mother can attribute "morning" sickness to hormones, father's who have this symptom usually attribute it to the anxiety and stress associated with the pregnancy. This can also be caused by the change in diet that may occur from stress and the cravings of your partner who may force you to eat things that are outside of your norm. Try to stay active and keep the drinking at a minimum.
3. Mood Swings - Less sleep and more stress.
Stress causes different people to react different ways. If you find yourself staying up much later than normal contemplating what to do with a new child, you may find that during the day you are on pins a needles. Try to relax and talk with your partner about how you feel it may help you sleep, which in turn will keep her from dealing with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide.
4. Change in Sexual Appetite - Yeah, that's right, you may not be your normal sex craved self.
Every man thinks that he is a sexual god and you very well may be when everything is running it's normal course. Expecting a child is not an everyday occurrence and that distraction can cause a lack of focus on the prize at hand. Don't worry, your partner won't mind as she will have the same issues (except for the 2nd trimester which can leave your loins dry from overuse).
5. Weight Gain - Her belly isn't the only one that may get bigger.
On average fathers gain 14-15 lbs during a pregnancy. Once again stress is the main culprit compounded by the "stress hormone" cortisol. Cortisol regulates blood sugar and insulin levels and is secreted at higher levels at times when you are stressed. Keep the snacks healthy and stay in the gym to avoid becoming twins with the mother to be.

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