Sex & Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a life altering event. Life will never be the same as you knew it. You can not go back. Parenthood is permanent. Once a child is born to you, you can not just trade it in for a different model if it cries, says or does something you do not like. Children are permanent.

Pregnancy, unlike parenthood, impacts men and women differently. The impact of pregnancy is different for men and women because of their unique roles. While many couples now describe themselves as pregnant, only women undergo the physical changes brought about by carrying a child. For example, during the 9 months of pregnancy, only women experience morning sickness, mood swings, exhaustion, weight gain and labor. Thus, at best, men are bystanders, who at best are given the responsibility of assisting their partner as life becomes increasingly difficult for the pregnant woman to handle by herself. As a woman progresses during pregnancy, partners typically need to do more of the lifting and cleaning so that she can focus all of her energies on growing their baby. After the baby is born, the partner needs to care for all of the mother’s needs (food and shelter) so that she can recoup for the physically exhausting job of growing and birthing a child. Additionally, she needs rest to be able to produce milk for the baby and energy to sooth a crying baby.

As a result of these different roles, men and women have different questions and concerns. This is normal, not only because their experiences are different, but so are their needs. While pregnancy impacts men and women very differently, the range of emotions that each person experiences is more similar than dissimilar. Most men and women feel some mixture of fear, panic, joy and shear excitement. Everything in each of their lives is about to change. For questions or concerns on the emotional side of pregnancy and future parenting, visit Therapy in Philadelphia for more information and resources.