Impending Fatherhood Fears
Fear of Continued Dietary Restrictions
You might think this concern is a joke, but it’s given serious consideration in What to Expect the First Year, the epic sequel to What to Expect When You’re Expecting. In the “Of Special Concern” section near the end, there’s a chapter for men, full of advice to guys about adjusting the emotional and sexual aspects of their partnerships, balancing work hours with fatherhood, and bonding with the baby. It also covers how to handle a disappointing delivery, postpartum depression, and “exclusion from breastfeeding” (that is, being left out of the sense of closeness between mother and child). In short, the chapter provides a thorough catalogue of everything the average father-to-be could worry about.
Oddly enough, however, the first item of concern listed is “Your Diet and Your Baby.” The example scenario reads, “I gave up a lot of my favorite foods when my wife was pregnant so I could support her efforts to eat right for our baby. But enough’s enough. Now that our son’s here, shouldn’t I be able to eat what I like?”
Maybe there are some expectant fathers who have lain awake at night, fretting about when they’ll get to taste cold cuts, shrimp, and cheesecake again, but I find it hard to believe that enough guys have actually tried following a pregnancy diet to the point where this concern could even be a reality, let alone a more pressing issue than “Why does my wife cry and get so angry at me all the time?” or “How can I cut down my work travel without losing my job?”
Incidentally, I did try eating the “Best-Odds Diet” recommended in the book, but I couldn’t keep up with it. There are a total of 24—count ‘em—24 recommended daily servings when you combine the serving suggestions from each food group. I doubt most people have enough time in the day to eat all that food, and I certainly don’t think many pregnant women have the stomach capacity for it.
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