An article about the effects parenting, pregnancy and babies have on men and actually quite a lot of things are very similar to the women. Experiencing many similar emotion and changes without actually having the baby.
- We have long been obsessed with how women’s bodies and health are altered by motherhood
- But while men might not go through the physical process of childbirth, a growing body of evidence suggests they, too, experience physical and psychological transformations when they become fathers.
- 624 men found their testosterone levels dropped by one third when their children are born.
‘While pregnancy causes profound changes in women, this is more subtle level in men,’ says Dr Allan Pacey, a fertility expert at the University of Sheffield.
THEY TRANSFORM INTO BIG SOFTIES
- Perhaps one of the most intriguing findings about fatherhood is how it affects men’s personality.
- fall in the hormone could show men are ‘hard-wired’ for parenthood, just like women.
- They have evolved to protect their babies and their genes by becoming softer and more caring when their offspring arrive.
Dr Pacey explains: ‘A drop in testosterone doesn’t make a man more child-friendly, but it switches his priorities to invest in the new infant. It would be interesting to find out if the same thing happens in stepfathers. Is this fall in testosterone caused by the presence of a child and sense of social responsibility or is it down to smells and hormones telling you this is your offspring?’
THEIR BRAINS GET A BOOST
- Any dad will tell you their priorities shifted then their baby came along and some scientists think fathers’ brains actually works differently.
- In 2006, researchers at Princeton University examined the brains of male marmosets and found that after childbirth the connections between the brain cells were more effective in the prefrontal cortex — the part of the brain responsible for planning and memory.
THEY PUT ON WEIGHT…
- The average father-to-be gains a stone during his partner’s pregnancy, a 2009 poll of 5,000 men found.
- About 40 per cent blamed the extra snacks in the house because of their partner’s bigger appetite, while others reported being served larger portions or said they ate more to make their partner feel better about getting bigger.
- The male monkey grows a pregnancy paunch in preparation for the extra energy they’ll expend when the baby arrives.
. . . AND SUFFER CONTRACTION PAINS
- One in four expectant fathers experiences many of the pregnancy ‘symptoms’ of their female partners, a recent survey of 2,000 men found.
- They reported food cravings, mood swings and nausea — some even complained of phantom pregnancy pains.
‘Society now expects men to have an interest in their baby and to know what their partner is going through, When they go to scans becomes more real for them — just as it does for a woman. So it’s not surprising they start to experience psychosomatic symptoms.’
social psychologist Dr Sandra Wheatley
THEIR HEARTS ARE HEALTHIER
- When men have kids, they start to think about living longer. They change their diet, they give up smoking, they stop going to see their mates at the pub as much
- He points to a successful public campaign to stop heart disease, which showed family photographs with the father missing.
- That had a real impact
… BUT THEY GET THE BABY BLUES
- Men are just as likely to suffer from postnatal depression as women
- one in ten fathers — the same ratio as mothers — was likely to suffer before or after the birth
- The problem could be the drop in testosterone, a hormone linked to sex drive and energy
- Other risk factors include the displacement of the father’s place in the home and a traumatic birth.
- Men are most likely to experience problems three to six months after the baby’s birth. While a woman’s body and lifestyle changes the moment she is pregnant, her partner often works right up to the birth, so has no time to prepare emotionally for the new arrival.