The following are a selection of quotes excerpted from a recent poll which asked pregnant mothers what they most wished fathers understood about pregnancy.
One thing I observed from the full set of responses is that there is often a breakdown in communication. Men don't always fully grasp how physically uncomfortable and emotionally exhausted women are during pregnancy, so a woman's words may fall on partially deaf ears. Likewise, in a hormonal and emotionally charged state women are not able to fully express themselves to their partners.
These answers provide some insight into the things that make pregnant women tick... often like a time bomb, so pay attention to what they would like from their expectant partners. A lot of times it's just a little compassion, some understanding of how poorly they feel physically or maybe just a back rub. (They love massages!)
1. " When I was pregnant the first time I was sick, tired, and miserable and my husband said in an exasperated voice "I don't know WHAT is the matter with you!" Every expectant father should know NOT to say that.
2. "How much it can totally sap your energy sometimes. You could be vaccuming and finish 1 room and feel like you ran a marathon, or have to sit down and rest in the middle of grocery shopping.
3. "...how annoying it is that you have pee all the time. There were a few weeks during my first pregnancy where I felt like I had to pee literally every 5 minutes... My husband got annoyed because I didn't want to go to a party one evening (how fun would that be to camp out in the potty) and I wished he could have understood that it wasn't like it was a real choice for me.
4. "He doesn't understand when I say I'm not in the mood! I feel sick and out of it, and all I get in return is 'you got pregnant and now you dont need me'
5. "I've told him several times i cant eat certain things and he just totally doesnt understand what im saying... he keeps wanting to go out and eat sea food im like i cant do that! haha its annoying.
6. "I wish my husband know how horrendous I feel all day everyday. how lethargic & exhausted I am, and how anxious & stressed out, how badly I just want to relax & not be constantly asked for something (like dinner, or cookies, or sex, or whatever--he asks for these things at least once a day).
7. "I also wish he knew how close to the edge I am--I feel like I'm barely holding it together & feel like I'm going to snap at any moment. I wish he'd volunteer to help out more, I'm totally frazzled & forgetful & feel scared & worried and insecure & stressed.
8. "I wish that the fathers knew how much pain and agony that us mothers go through. Not only with labor and delivery, but the whole entire pregnancy. I wish that fathers were more compassionate and understanding during that time too.
9. "Fathers should give lots of backrubs without us having to beg.