Is Dad Pregnant Too?
There are numerous physical and emotional changes your partner will undergo during her pregnancy i.e. nausea, fatigue and of course weight gain. But did you know that some men experience similar symptoms?
Couvade Syndrome is the term used to describe the condition when a man experiences similar symptoms to that of his partner during her pregnancy. While this is not a real condition recognized by the medical community there are convincing arguments that support the fact that this is legit. Anxiety, nausea and body aches also fall into this syndrome and have been documented by men whose partners are pregnant. I for one can attest that when my wife was pregnant with our first child over 20 years ago, I put on more than a few pounds during those 9 months. I will admit the Friday night Cold Stone Cookie Don’t You Want Some Love It size ice cream may have had something to do with it. That was one of our weekly rituals that I was more than happy to partake in.
Of course my wife couldn’t have the cookie dough due to the raw egg so she would longingly witness my joy while she indulged in her safer choice of vanilla with sprinkles. Word to the wise, don’t assume that just because she’s eating more you can too. I mean you can eat more if you want but remember the weight you gain will not come off the same way it will once your partner delivers your newborn. I didn’t think about how much more I was eating at first. Since my wife and I are both foodies we bonded over meals like lamb chops, steak and truffle mac n’ cheese. While these are not necessarily indulgent foods they definitely add up if you find yourself eating meals like these more than once a week. The increase in stress can also contribute to your growing appetite as well as to other common pregnancy symptoms like anxiety and even similar aches and pains that your partner is experiencing. Or course it’s always best to consult with your health professional to make sure there is nothing else going on but chances are it’s a result of the new transition you are about to take on as a parent. So with that in mind, you may want to have a plan to keep your dad bod and mind in tact.
Today there are a plethora of workouts, meditation apps and meal plans that many swear by like Headspace, eating Paleo, following the Keto diet or joining the craze of intermittent fasting.
And thanks to social media there are plenty of influencers who have proven these plans work. Having a 19 year old son in the house constantly challenges me to stay in shape. In fact, my son has introduced me to a great workout program called Kinobody Fitness. Greg, the founder, provides a thorough workout and nutrition program that really works. Not only does this program keep me in shape, it helps to reduce my level of anxiety as well.
20 years ago it seemed much harder to keep the weight off once I put it on. And let me add that once you pass 40, it becomes much harder to keep your weight under control. Fortunately, I’ve found refuge in running marathons back then which ended up transforming my body for the better as well as reducing my stress levels.
So whether you decide to take up meditation to ease your anxiety or run a marathon, decide to eat for two with your partner during her pregnancy or stick to a strict meal program, having a plan will keep you in the drivers seat so you won’t wake up one morning all of a sudden asking “what happened?” Preparation is a key component to parenting so if you can start this early you will be training your body and mind for the new journey into parenting.
Are you experiencing similar symptoms to your pregnant partner or have a meal plan or workout that you swear by?
Please share! After all we dads need to support one another.