Strange New Habits during Pregnancy Explained for Dads

By Mathew Miller, Sharon Perkins

As a new dad, you may at times look at your partner and wonder who this woman actually is. The sweet-tempered woman you once knew may have been replaced by someone whose head appears to be rotating at times, and the woman who used to party all night long barely makes it into the living room to collapse on the couch after work.

You knew having a baby was going to change your life, but you probably didn’t expect things to change this much so early in the game.

Take heart: These are temporary changes. After her body adjusts to the new hormone levels, many of the symptoms will decrease, and your original partner will start to emerge again.

In the meantime, some of her new habits may be affecting you in a big way, and you may need to find ways to cope with them.

Basics of vomit and pregnancy for dads

Although she’s the one vomiting, sometimes you may not be far behind. Many people have a hard time dealing with vomit, whether it’s their own or someone else’s. If you have a sensitive stomach, hearing her heave may inspire the same reflex in you.

Staying supportive while holding on to your own cookies can be difficult. You may want to try the following tips if the sight, sounds, and smell of vomiting are getting to you:

  • Avoid trigger foods. If certain things really get to her, make sure they don’t enter your house, no matter how much you crave them.

  • Dab something under your nose that smells good to you. This really helps. Peppermint oil can get you through some tough moments. Nose plugs may also work, if your partner doesn’t take offense at them. She probably doesn’t want you to start vomiting too, so she may be okay with them.

  • Stay cool. People are less likely to vomit when cool air is blowing on them, so turn the fan all the way up and get a small fan that can blow right on you. This may help keep your partner from vomiting, too.

Basics of your partner’s weight gain in the first trimester of pregnancy

Although weight gain isn’t such a problem during the vomiting weeks, when the nausea ends, your partner may start eating like food is going to be taken off the market next week.

This can be bad for her waistline, sure, but it can also be not so good for yours, because you may find yourself overeating just to keep up with her and matching her weight gain pound for pound. The woman who never let a chocolate-covered donut in the house may now be eating them by the cartload.

For both of your sakes, try to put a stop to the madness. You don’t have to remind her how hard this weight is going to be to lose later.

Just talk about your own weight gain and how you’re afraid you’re not going to be able to play Frisbee on the beach with the kid if you keep eating like this. Don’t turn into the food police; no one responds well to being told what they should and shouldn’t eat.

Even if your pleas for healthier food choices don’t get her out of the junk food aisle and back into the vegetable section, force yourself to cut back on the unhealthy foods. She’s eating for two, but you aren’t, although you may look like you are about halfway through the pregnancy. And, all kidding aside, that extra weight will interfere with your ball-playing and horsey-back-ride abilities down the road.

How to cope with your partner’s cravings

If an active sex life was part of your semiweekly (or more) agenda, you may be in for a rough few weeks. Sex may be the last thing on your partner’s mind in the first trimester. And some types of sex may trigger her gag reflex, which is the last thing you want to associate with a previously enjoyable activity!

Although turning into a monk may not be on your list of fun things, you can cope with the words “Not tonight, honey” by doing the following:

  • Be flexible: Some women are ready for sex sooner than others, and for some, when the sex drive returns, it’s strong. It may come and go throughout the day. Be ready to perform when your partner is ready because the window of opportunity can be slammed shut before you’ve had a chance to look outside.

  • Experiment with touching: Depending on how open your partner is to experimentation, you can do a lot to pleasure each other that doesn’t involve intercourse. In fact, this may be a great time to start understanding your partner sexually more than ever before.

    Find out what she’s up for by taking it slow, working together to find comfortable positions and techniques, and being supportive if at any moment she needs to stop.

  • Practice self-release: Masturbation isn’t something most adults like to talk about, but if you have a voracious sexual appetite, and both you and your partner are okay with the idea, there’s no shame in taking the matter into your own hands, so to speak.

  • Watch her patterns: If morning sex used to be your thing but her new thing is promptly vomiting every time she wakes up, shake things up. Try to engage in sexual activity at times of the day when she’s generally not tired, nauseated, or weepy.