So here's a surprise. A quarter of fathers experience a "pregmancy" in sympathy with their pregnant partners. The research from Pampers found that some fathers-to-be become more emotional, 'weepy', and suffer mood swings, nausea and food cravings.
The explanation for this is apparently that Modern Man is more sensitive and wants to support his partner as best they can. Hang on, so jumping up and down whining, "I feel sick too!!" is supportive is it?
Ok, so maybe I'm a bit of a pregnancy-symptom-denier anyway but I'm not entirely sure that even I've become more emotional, let alone my partner.
I have had no real food cravings apart from those I already had (ice-cream and bread and, let's face it, who doesn't have those?) and I haven't been sick at all. So if my partner had displayed any of these symptoms I would have been really quite suspicious. But guess what? He didn't...(and funnily enough we have quite different physical makeup). You don't have to be a scientist to work out why this is.
What I think happens is this. Women get pregnant. They start eating more "fun" food and claiming they need to sit down more often. They claim they are allowed to be unreasonable and fly off the handle at the slightest opportunity and nobody can question them.
Everyone else starts paying them three times as much attention and completely and utterly ignoring their partners. All conversation turns towards the happy event and how the mother is feeling and how she should be taking it easy/eating for 12/resting up.
Poor partners see this and think, "Hmm. I'm having some of that too," and thus start suggesting that they too require a family pack of Magnums every night and might need bit of a lie down.
PA Famous advert from 1970
The study also suggested that 56 of men not ever tidy or decorate the house before?
When I got pregnant, what I wanted (and, luckily for me, what I got) was a partner who was moderately – but not too – sympathetic and level-headed. A partner who read up on nutrition in pregnancy and dietary changes and reacted accordingly by cooking different things. When I looked uncomfortable or had problems with anything he rubbed my shoulders and offered calming noises.
When I woke at 4.30 for a chat he good-naturedly soothed me back to sleep. He certainly didn't prod me in the back and say, "WHAT ABOUT ME???", burst into tears at the slightest provocation or wake up vomiting every morning (Is it really morning sickness these men are experiencing or is it actually the effects of a night out with the lads crying about how they won't be the baby for much longer and how it will all change and how they aren't getting it anymore?).
I'd like to see these men who say they are experiencing pregnancy symptoms swearing off alcohol for nine months, cutting their caffeine intake or piously pushing away plates of chicken liver pate and blue cheese.
The fact is that men who have "pregmancies" are reacting to a lack of attention from their partners and cherry-picking what they believe to be the more desirable aspects of the "disorder". Force them to walk around with a 10 bags of sugar strapped to their stomach, have to empty their bladder every five minutes and not be able to sleep on their back and we'll see whether they're so keen to be "in tune".
Did your partner suffer a pregnancy?
Attention-seeking or valid? Have your say?