From my research, 10 percent of dads-to-be have affairs while their partners were pregnant with their child. OK, 10 percent is hardly the majority of dads-to-be. At the same time, I’d want to know how the man in my life feels about the arrival of our first child. Having a baby is as complicated for men as it is for women — emotionally if not necessarily physically — and while society often focuses on the mom-to-be — the one who’s going through all the physical and hormonal changes, the one who’s going to push out a new being from her vagina — men have feels, too. They need to be encouraged to talk about it.

As ob/gyn Laura Riley writes:

Men worry, even if they don’t tell you. Even if your partner doesn’t mention it, he may be worrying about what pregnancy will do to your lives. He may feel anxious about upcoming expenses, your health insurance coverage, the pain that you’ll feel during pregnancy or delivery, what life will be like with three rather than two, and the effects of pregnancy on your sex life. If you are planning to quit your job to stay home with your baby, he may feel more pressure because he’ll be the sole breadwinner. Men question what type of dad they’ll be. For some men, fatherhood is something they have looked forward to for years and feel well equipped to handle. Others may feel apprehensive.

As a society, we probably need to talk more openly about men’s feelings about fatherhood better, and most certainly as a couple. As if just being pregnant isn’t hard enough on a woman …

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Award-winning journalist, coauthor of “The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels,” mom, changing the narrative about older women

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