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Mom Says, Dad Says: The Rules Of Pregnancy

First question: Is it OK for a man to say, "We're pregnant?"

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Pregnancy is an exciting time for a couple, but it can also be a contentious one. Buzzfeed's parenting editors share their experiences — mom to dad — about some of the most debated questions of pregnancy.

“Is it OK for a man to say, ‘We’re pregnant?’”

Dad: Full disclosure: I probably said that once or twice back in the day, but I stopped when I saw how much side-eye I was getting.Mom: Yeah, the physical act of being pregnant takes a huge toll, and men go through NONE of that. There are less cringe-y ways to announce you’re expecting a kid.Dad: No, men don’t go through any of that, but those who are involved in the pregnancy play a large role in bringing the baby along, too. They support their partners, rub their backs, and even throw on pants at 3 a.m. to run out and get pickles and chocolate sauce!Mom: And men have to deal with the stress of what their wife/partner is going through. I agree with that. But still, don’t say it, guys. Dad: What do you think about saying, “We’re having a baby?” Mom: We're having a baby is totally kosher, in my mind. We are BOTH having a baby. We are not BOTH pregnant.Dad: But couldn’t a mom-to-be still say, “I’M having the baby. YOU’RE watching.”Mom: Yeah, she could. Because it’s technically true.Dad: Is how someone announces a pregnancy really such a big deal? I mean, who is being more annoying, the guy who says, “We’re pregnant?” Or the woman who checks him and says, “No, you’re not! I am!”Mom: (Laughs) The woman is worse. But still, guys, just don’t say it.
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Dad: Full disclosure: I probably said that once or twice back in the day, but I stopped when I saw how much side-eye I was getting.

Mom: Yeah, the physical act of being pregnant takes a huge toll, and men go through NONE of that. There are less cringe-y ways to announce you’re expecting a kid.

Dad: No, men don’t go through any of that, but those who are involved in the pregnancy play a large role in bringing the baby along, too. They support their partners, rub their backs, and even throw on pants at 3 a.m. to run out and get pickles and chocolate sauce!

Mom: And men have to deal with the stress of what their wife/partner is going through. I agree with that. But still, don’t say it, guys.

Dad: What do you think about saying, “We’re having a baby?”

Mom: We're having a baby is totally kosher, in my mind. We are BOTH having a baby. We are not BOTH pregnant.

Dad: But couldn’t a mom-to-be still say, “I’M having the baby. YOU’RE watching.”

Mom: Yeah, she could. Because it’s technically true.

Dad: Is how someone announces a pregnancy really such a big deal? I mean, who is being more annoying, the guy who says, “We’re pregnant?” Or the woman who checks him and says, “No, you’re not! I am!”

Mom: (Laughs) The woman is worse. But still, guys, just don’t say it.

“Is it OK for a mom-to-be to expect her partner to stop drinking in solidarity?”

Mom: No, that’s stupid and unfair. But it depends on the couple’s relationship with drinking. For example, I don’t drink much, but my husband loves beer. It never crossed my mind to try to limit his beer.Dad: I don’t think it’s out of line, actually. When you have kids you have to give up so much and take on so much responsibility that if you can’t stop drinking for nine months – if that seems like such a big deal to you – then I don’t see how you’re going to be ready for the larger sacrifices once the baby is here.Mom: I can see how if a couple drank together frequently, and then the mom-to-be had to stop on account of being pregnant, she might be pissed. There should be a sense of solidarity.Dad: Maybe it's about being sensitive to your partner. If a woman is chill about her partner’s drinking, fine. But if it bothers her, why wouldn’t he work with her to make her pregnancy easier to manage? Surviving raising a kid together is all about teamwork, and it’s hard, and you need to learn to ease the burden on each other or it ain't gonna work. Mom: Yes, I agree with that. You have to make compromises no matter what, and this is an easy way to start.Dad: Again, it's like who's being more annoying, the woman who asks her partner to stop, or the guy who says, "No way, honey! I loves me my beer!"Mom: The guy is worse.Dad: Exactly. And it's not like he can NEVER drink. If he’s out at a ballgame or at happy hour with co-workers, he can have a beer there. But he shouldn’t do it in front of the mom-to-be if giving up alcohol has been hard for her.
Getty Images/iStockphoto KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Mom: No, that’s stupid and unfair. But it depends on the couple’s relationship with drinking. For example, I don’t drink much, but my husband loves beer. It never crossed my mind to try to limit his beer.

Dad: I don’t think it’s out of line, actually. When you have kids you have to give up so much and take on so much responsibility that if you can’t stop drinking for nine months – if that seems like such a big deal to you – then I don’t see how you’re going to be ready for the larger sacrifices once the baby is here.

Mom: I can see how if a couple drank together frequently, and then the mom-to-be had to stop on account of being pregnant, she might be pissed. There should be a sense of solidarity.

Dad: Maybe it's about being sensitive to your partner. If a woman is chill about her partner’s drinking, fine. But if it bothers her, why wouldn’t he work with her to make her pregnancy easier to manage? Surviving raising a kid together is all about teamwork, and it’s hard, and you need to learn to ease the burden on each other or it ain't gonna work.

Mom: Yes, I agree with that. You have to make compromises no matter what, and this is an easy way to start.

Dad: Again, it's like who's being more annoying, the woman who asks her partner to stop, or the guy who says, "No way, honey! I loves me my beer!"

Mom: The guy is worse.

Dad: Exactly. And it's not like he can NEVER drink. If he’s out at a ballgame or at happy hour with co-workers, he can have a beer there. But he shouldn’t do it in front of the mom-to-be if giving up alcohol has been hard for her.

“Should men have a say in whether drugs are used at birth?”

Mom: My husband felt very strongly about a natural birth when I was pregnant. He wanted no drugs. He wanted no waiting for doctors. He wanted me to push when I was ready. He was the crunchiest hippie wife ever.Dad: Did you do it?Mom: I got an epidural at 9 centimeters. I tried, but when I was the one in pain and there was a needle there that could end the pain, I was like, “FUCK YOUR NATURAL BIRTH GIVE ME THE DRUGS!”Dad: From my perspective, I don't really know how you can say to your wife, "I know you're about to experience the most physically painful thing a person can experience, but can you not take any drugs? ‘Cause it might be bad for the baby. OK, keep pushing! Be right back! Gonna get some coffee!”Mom: Another interesting angle on this question is when a woman asks her partner to be her willpower against drugs. Like, “When I start screaming for drugs, don’t let me get them!” I don’t think that tactic would have stood a chance for us.Dad: I think men need to step back and let the woman lead in the delivery room. And, for the record, if a man says, "We're pregnant" in the delivery room he deserves a junk punch. Mom: (laughs) “We’re pushing! We’re crowning!” Dad: “We’re at 9 centimeters!” No, dude, no.Mom: In all seriousness, though, while I think saying, "We're pregnant" is lame because the man isn't literally pregnant, in this case the man is equally responsible for the child (it's half his) so he has a say. It's his child's well-being. For example, if at three months along a mom-to-be wanted a glass of wine, her partner would have the right to say, "No, that would hurt my baby." It's similar here. Dad: So a dad's opinion should be taken into account too.Mom: Yeah. I don't think it's totally crazy for a dad-to-be to be concerned about the baby being exposed to drugs at birth, but in the end, if the woman has made a best effort to accommodate her partner's wishes, she should have the final say because it involves her body too, not just the baby’s.
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Mom: My husband felt very strongly about a natural birth when I was pregnant. He wanted no drugs. He wanted no waiting for doctors. He wanted me to push when I was ready. He was the crunchiest hippie wife ever.

Dad: Did you do it?

Mom: I got an epidural at 9 centimeters. I tried, but when I was the one in pain and there was a needle there that could end the pain, I was like, “FUCK YOUR NATURAL BIRTH GIVE ME THE DRUGS!”

Dad: From my perspective, I don't really know how you can say to your wife, "I know you're about to experience the most physically painful thing a person can experience, but can you not take any drugs? ‘Cause it might be bad for the baby. OK, keep pushing! Be right back! Gonna get some coffee!”

Mom: Another interesting angle on this question is when a woman asks her partner to be her willpower against drugs. Like, “When I start screaming for drugs, don’t let me get them!” I don’t think that tactic would have stood a chance for us.

Dad: I think men need to step back and let the woman lead in the delivery room. And, for the record, if a man says, "We're pregnant" in the delivery room he deserves a junk punch.

Mom: (laughs) “We’re pushing! We’re crowning!”

Dad: “We’re at 9 centimeters!” No, dude, no.

Mom: In all seriousness, though, while I think saying, "We're pregnant" is lame because the man isn't literally pregnant, in this case the man is equally responsible for the child (it's half his) so he has a say. It's his child's well-being. For example, if at three months along a mom-to-be wanted a glass of wine, her partner would have the right to say, "No, that would hurt my baby." It's similar here.

Dad: So a dad's opinion should be taken into account too.

Mom: Yeah. I don't think it's totally crazy for a dad-to-be to be concerned about the baby being exposed to drugs at birth, but in the end, if the woman has made a best effort to accommodate her partner's wishes, she should have the final say because it involves her body too, not just the baby’s.

Do men have a say in the food their partner eats when pregnant?

CBS

Mom: My biggest pregnancy craving was McDonald's cheeseburgers. I gained 80 lbs.

Dad: Whoa. I mean, go on.

Mom: Any time your spouse is talking about your weight, shit is getting real. Warranted or not, I will cut a bitch.

Dad: Did your husband say anything about your cheeseburger obsession?

Mom: He likes living, so he did not.

Dad: If he’d expressed concern in a supportive way how would you have responded?

Mom: I think there's no way I would have not been defensive. The thing a lot of men don’t understand is that pregnancy cravings are for real. This is not an excuse to eat shitty food.

Dad: So men should keep their mouths shut regardless?

Mom: Pretty much. Unless you’re looking at permanent damage.

Dad: Like gestational diabetes (which sometimes turn into permanent diabetes after delivery).

Mom: Exactly. If a dad-to-be is worried I’d advise him to be a team player. Help. Don't be an enabler. Throw out snack foods and stock fridge with healthy food. Give the women the tools to be healthy.

Is sex during pregnancy good or bad?

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Dad: Some guys aren't physically attracted to women when they’re pregnant, but most are, I think. For men the bigger problem isn’t attraction, but the fear of hurting the baby. I readily admit this is a ridiculous thing for men to worry about because none of us are that well-endowed, but it’s a thought that gets in our heads. The thought of having sex in such close proximity to the baby can get in a man’s head too. “OMG! The baby is inches away from my junk right now! I need to take a cold shower and cry!”

Mom: Yeah, I’ve heard men can be squeamish about that. On a side note, can I say how much I hate it when women find out they’re pregnant and are like, “There’s a penis inside of me!”

Dad: Ugh. And then her partner is like, “It’s not the first time, honey. Heh, heh.”

Mom: People are gross.

Dad: Totally. Are women interested in sex while pregnant?

Mom: Varies. Some can't get enough. Some don't want to be touched. Some just hate the penis that got them into this situation.

Dad: Here’s an honest question: If a woman says she doesn’t want sex during pregnancy her partner is supposed to accept it, but if a man says he doesn’t want it for whatever reason, he’s a jerk. Why is that?

Mom: I don’t think he’s a jerk. But she might cry and feel ugly.

Dad: Is that true even if he explains he thinks she looks beautiful, but that he just doesn't want his penis near his baby?

Mom: Sadly, men get almost no say in pregnancy sex. If the woman wants it and he says no, she's instantly depressed about her weight. But if she says no, he better not start talking about blue balls.

Dad: In the end I think couples should be mellow about pregnancy sex and respect each other's feelings. If one doesn't want sex, the other should accept that and not take it to heart.

Mom: I agree with that, except for the fact that a pregnant woman is a force to be reckoned with. So may the force be with you.

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