Who Watches the Watchmen? Expectant Fathers Need Prenatal Support Too
No one will argue that it isn’t important to take care of a pregnant mother. So many factors post-birth depend on a woman’s health while she’s pregnant. But something many people don’t consider is the father’s health. After all, he doesn’t have a baby in his uterus. In fact, he (probably) doesn’t have a uterus. What gives?!
The issue for fathers is that while he’s supporting his wife, some of his own issues don’t get addressed. Or, in other words – who watches the watchmen?
University of Missouri researcher ManSoo Yu headed up the survey, and found that men tend to be treated as if they’re “observers of the pregnancy process,” he said. Giving the fathers a little attention can encourage the fathers to take more of an active role in the pregnancy, and ultimately help the baby. Well, and the mother too.
Yu saw that the mothers and fathers were affected by different things and in different ways. In the study, fathers processed “pregnancy-related issues, including family problems, preparing for change and feeling overwhelmed” as financial stress issues, where women processed them emotionally. And when dealing with support, men tended to give women tangible support like completing tasks while women tended to give emotional support.
Think back on your wife’s pregnancy. Purely speculation, but I’d be willing to bet that if your wife’s back hurt, you immediately went out and got one of those squishy body pillow things. If your back hurt, she’d tell you “it’s alright honey, you’ll get better soon.” That illustrates Yu’s findings.
Another finding – the expectant mothers tended to have higher self-esteem during pregnancy than the fathers.
All of this points to something important – a reason for wives to really be wary of issues with their husbands during their pregnancy. Yes, you’re important because you carry the baby, but hey man, the dad’s important too! He’s freaking out about how life is about to change and whether he can afford it all.
Sauce: Science Daily