For men, pregnancy can be a time of joy and anticipation—but also of stress and anxi­ety. Feelings about parenting in combination with the many changes their partners are undergoing can all add to men’s feelings of vulnerability.

In the United States today, fathers are allowed and encouraged to participate in the birth. However, this was not always the case. At one time, fathers were told to go to the waiting room and sit until the baby was born. In some other cultures, such as in Bang Chan, Thailand, the father aids in the actual birth of his child (Dunham et al., 1992). The role of the father in pregnancy varies among cultures. Some fathers are required to remain on a strict diet during the course of the pregnancy or to cater to their partner’s food cravings at all times.

Question: Do men ever feel left out because the woman gets all the attention while she is pregnant?

Some do. However, it is important to keep in mind that both mothers – and fathers-to-be share the pregnancy experience, both the excite­ment and the fears. Many years ago, male involvement in pregnancy and birth ended once a sperm fertilized the ovum. Today, many physi­cians recommend that fathers be included in many aspects of the pregnancy experience. They can go to the monthly obstetrician appointments with their partner, help out with their partner’s special diet needs by preparing and eating healthy foods with her, read as many books as possible on pregnancy, talk to friends who have children about their expe­riences, talk to the baby while it is still in the womb, help shop for necessary baby items, take childbirth classes with their partner, and coach the mother through the birth itself. Overall, probably the most important thing that parents-to-be can do is to be open and honest about their feelings and communicate with each other.

C" health Care during pregnancy———————————– ‘

There are many things a pregnant woman can do to be healthy during her pregnancy, including participating in physical exercise, getting good nutrition, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. Women often maintain sexual interest during pregnancy, although it may begin to wane during the third trimester.