Miscarriage: Men Grieve Too

My wife just had a miscarriage. I’m trying to be as strong and supportive as I can but it’s affected me too. I wanted to be a dad so badly, and my wife really wanted to be a mom. We are both devastated. I want to talk to someone about what I’m going through but I’m feeling guilty about not focusing completely on my wife. What can I do?

Miscarriages, like the pregnancies they end, have almost always been thought of as having an emotional impact only on women. But this simply isn’t true. There’s no question that men don’t suffer the physical pain of a miscarriage, but our emotional pain can-and often is-as severe as women’s. Expectant dads, like expectant moms, have hopes and dreams and fantasies about their unborn children, and most of us feel a profound sense of grief when those hopes and dreams and fantasies are dashed. And like our wives, most men feel inadequate and guilty when a pregnancy ends prematurely.
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Smoking and Drinking While Pregnant

My wife is smoking while pregnant and is a recovering alcoholic—or at least she was. Her doctor told her to quit smoking immediately and forever and she promised she would. But just a few weeks later she started up again. And she’s started drinking again too. She says she’s only having a few glasses of wine but I’m going nuts with worry and I can’t understand why she would do this to our unborn baby. What can I do?

I generally don’t like to scare people but in cases like these it’s necessary. When a mother-to-be inhales cigarette smoke, her womb fills with carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, and other gunk that keep the baby from getting the oxygen and nutrients he needs. Sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Your wife’s smoking increases the risk of low-birth-weight babies, miscarriage, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
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Dealing with Morning Sickness

My wife is two months pregnant and is nauseous pretty much all day long. Isn’t morning sickness supposed to be in the morning? Is there anything I can do to help her calm her stomach? Will her morning sickness last throughout the pregnancy? Does morning sickness hurt the baby?

About half of all pregnant women experience morning sickness. Despite the name, the nausea, heartburn, and vomiting can strike at any hour of the day. No one’s quite sure what causes morning sickness. Some suggest that it’s a reaction to the pregnant woman’s changing hormone levels. Others, such as researcher Margie Profet, suggest that morning sickness is the body’s natural way of protecting the growing fetus from "teratogins" (toxins that cause birth defects) and "abortifacients" (toxins that induce miscarriage). Either way, for most women morning sickness disappears after about the third month.
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Workouts To Do With Your Wife

My wife is pregnant and I’d really like to work out with her. I have always been a bit of a jock, and I think it would be good for her to get some exercise too, but I’m worried that it might hurt the baby. Are there any exercises that are safe for us to do together?

If she’s already in good shape and her doctor approves, there’s no reason she can’t keep doing pretty much what she’s been doing. If she wasn’t a regular exerciser, this isn’t the time to take up rock climbing or start training for a marathon. At the same time, she shouldn’t plan on spending the entire pregnancy on the sofa. The key is to start easy and not push her if you see she’s feeling winded or tired.
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Why You Should Go To Her OB Appointments

My pregnant wife has been bugging me to go to all her doctor’s appointments during her pregnancy. I want to be an involved dad, but I can’t see any real reason for me to go to the doctor with her. Can’t I just find out about being a new father, what our infant needs, how to raise children, and so on, by reading books for parents? Why should I go?

Most guys-unless they’re hypochondriacs-don’t really look forward to seeing a doctor. And seeing someone else’s is even farther down their list of fun ways to spend a few hours. But going to your wife’s medical appointments is really important, for a number of reasons.
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Picking A Childbirth Class

Every expectant couple I know is taking a Lamaze or Bradley class. Is it really necessary to learn about the childbirth process? Or will I end up sitting around with the other dads, listening to a bunch of pregnant moms talking about babies?

One of the advantages of taking a childbirth preparation class is that it’ll give you and your wife the opportunity to ask questions about the pregnancy in a more relaxed setting than her doctor’s office. You’ll also get a chance to hang out with other expecting couples and listen to the women swap stories about how much weight they’ve gained, how much their joints hurt, how many times they get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
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