by Robert G. Rodriguez
By the end of the second trimester, most fathers have begun to work through the psychological problems and anxiety aroused by the pregnancy. The resurgence of primitive emotions such as envious and competitive feelings, the challenge of feminine aspects within his own personality, the responsibilities of prospective fatherhood, and the shifting relationship to his wife have each been confronted and dealt with.
But those men who have sought ways to avoid the pregnancy experience will probably continue on that same path, throwing themselves into more work, taking longer trips away from home, developing individual or masculine hobbies, or becoming involved with other women. Only rarely will a particularly dramatic crisis -- a near miscarriage or unexplained bleeding -- shift this pattern. Some women who sense that they are losing their partners during pregnancy try frantically to involve them in natural childbirth or exercise classes. This alone rarely works. The psychological processes that prevented an earlier alliance are almost sure to be operative now.
This book is different from other books about pregnancy in that it explains what the typical man thinks about during pregnancy, and why, and how a man's behavior can and does affect an expectant mother and her baby's health.
Research for the book consists of over twenty-five years of work with expectant couples and presents my passionate understanding and commitment to expectant fathers and successful pregnant relationships. Many of these dads were experiencing pregnancy for the first time. But most of them were "garden variety" men going through pregnancy for the second, third, or sixth time. The facts, suggestions, concepts, and success stories presented represent countless discussions with experts in the fields of fathering and parenting, numerous meeting with marriage counselors, attorneys, obstetricians, women's health experts, directors of birthing centers, birthing classes, and battered women's centers, pediatricians, psychology professors, and all variety of pundits wearing the label of "expert" about pregnancy, birth, and relationships. In all, these meetings, readings, discussions, conferences, and research have spanned two generations of expectant couples, mothers, and fathers.
Parents' personal accounts clearly reveal that becoming a parent changes and shapes adults in dramatic ways. One insightful mother answered my question about how she changed with, "Becoming a mother changed every fiber, every feeling, and every relationship for me. I am constantly in the process of evaluating, recognizing, and repudiating the upheaval of motherhood." When a dear friend of mine who has been a Director of Nursing on a Maternity Unit for over twenty years was asked about advice for new moms, she replied, "Be prepared...to have your life turned upside down in unpredictable ways; probably forever.
Although all of the experts agree that pregnancy is a stressful and vulnerable time for expectant couples, most parents find ways to adjust their relationship and have healthy, happy families. Pregnancy may be the most challenging experience adults may ever face. Yet couples who have a strong relationship when a pregnancy begins have everything in their favor for a long and fruitful future.
Robert Garrett Rodriguez holds doctorates in psychology and health care administration and masters' degrees in health risk management, public health, research, and business administration. His nationwide lectures captivate audiences with his fascinating and passionate attitude. He is a member of Mensa and has published articles in parenting magazines and online journals.
Rodriguez is the author of "What's Your Pregnant Man Thinking? A Roadmap For Expectant and New Mothers," "It's a Matter of Choice," "Health Care America" and "Senior Mental Health Assessment" and "An Anxious Time for Men".
Copyright © Robert G. Rodriguez. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.