I have a feeling this post may be controversial to some. So before you read it please understand that it comes solely from a place of love. Love for all the woman out there courageous and strong going through pregnancy. Love for the men and women who support them. And love for the little ones that grow inside a woman’s incredible body. Above all for me, love for my darling and our little one (we just found out our child to be is about the size of a tadpole right now :P).
I think today’s post may be controversial because it talks about a man’s (or non-pregnant female partner’s) role in the pregnancy. More in particular the man’s role as it pertains to nutrition and the mother’s body. This is not about a man taking power away from a woman over her body. It’s about being a responsible adult and a supportive partner.
It’s no mystery that pregnant woman can have mysterious cravings during pregnancy. Last night I found myself eating Kraft dinner with Deb (as a late night snack) for the first time in over a decade. Some of this bingeing may in fact be necessary, to stay sane. I am not sure that I can really get into that, as it seems largely subjective. Who am I or anyone to judge anyway? With that said, I feel strongly that a woman also needs to up her game, and eat healthier foods. It seems more necessary that a woman take better care of her nutrition while pregnant than at other times. After all she is eating for two. And, when is a better time to start eating more nutritious food than before your child eating meals?
As I’ve mentioned before, the day we found out we were pregnant my life changed. I stepped up my game immediately, and became more of an adult almost spontaneously. It’s awesome, fascinating, and maybe a little scary. At the moment I don’t know if that’s normal for a man (i.e. biological) or that I just figured out it so quickly, because I’m so darn smart (jk). Our lives are changed, and there’s no going back. That’s why I say I already feel kind of like I’m a dad. Sure I may be an initiate at this point, but everything in my life has a different meaning now.
Part of Our Role
As men (and pregnancy partners) our job may be at times to help find healthy alternatives for a certain craving. For example, instead of those brownies she wanted, how about a chocolate smoothie? Or homemade raw brownies (made from nuts), if you can afford it. It means too that we need to actively seek out understanding of what she may be craving and how we can help.
We also need to be responsible with nutrition choices because it’s only fair that if she is eating it for our kids we should eat it, and prepare a little more often than we would otherwise. That means we have to cook more healthy and delicious meals. You should have that skill as a parent anyway.
What I think it doesn’t entail is to just give your pregnant partner the exact thing that she is craving (every time). Sure this may appear to be some sort of soft skill that only seems worthwhile during pregnancy, but it actually has application for the entirety of a marriage or relationship. I may get belted over the head for this thought before the end of it, but it just seems like the fair thing for our child! It’s not just about the decisions of adults any more. Those days are gone…
Some Thoughts on a Pregnant Woman’s Role in Nutrition
It also may be to help our loved ones make good choices about what she eats. However difficult it may be to accept, a woman does not choose everything in a vacuum while she is pregnant. Not that we make our choices in a vacuum to begin with, but I think you get my point. It seems like the mature thing to do is to not give in to every urge for certain types of food. There is a little one already counting on her. What she puts into her mouth she is feeding to her baby. I’m not pretending to fully understand the urges, but I do know the baby is in there and he or she is counting on the mom to make good decisions.
As a parent, we’ll likely lose even more of our ‘freedom’. We have responsibilities now that basically never go away. A lot of these responsibilities don’t start at birth. They start at conception.
I am really interested to hear what you think about this. Please remember that I am just a guy trying to figure this out. I love my spouse, and really just want what’s best for us and our child. Hence why I can’t wait to read what you have to say.