If you have ever seen any sort of television show where the character gets pregnant, or know anyone that has been pregnant before, you will be familiar with the concept of pregnancy hormones. When your partner becomes pregnant, there are chemical changes to her body which are necessary for the baby’s development but play havoc with her emotional state. She is going to feel sick, tired, happy, sad, hungry, and bloated and quite possibly all at the same time! Ok, maybe I am exaggerating a little, but you get the picture. It can feel a little like whatever you say, you may get a completely disproportionate response. But there are ways to navigate this.
Do not point out she is hormonal
OK, lets start with a simple one. If she is acting different to normal, do not point this out and try to have a rational discussion. It is not the time. If you want to get an idea of what this may end up like, go watch the Mike Tyson fight against Michael Spinks on YouTube. For those of you who are not familiar with boxing, Spinks went into the fight undefeated and he was knocked down twice and knocked out all within 90 seconds. He retired after the fight. Even if you are in the right, have logic and fact on your side, you are going to lose. Instead, take a deep breath and just go with the flow. Its actually perfect practice for when the baby is here, and it starts crying for no reason for an hour straight.
Have a sense of humour
The truth is that once the moment passes, your partner will know that she is responding irrationally to certain things. She will find it objectively humorous that she cried for 10 minutes because she spilled her coffee. It can become a great bonding experience, but there is an important nuance here. Make sure you are laughing with her and not at her. If you laugh at her, you are back to Tyson v Spinks. If you laugh with her, you are a supportive and loving partner. If you are unsure what the difference is. Imagine these two sentences “Hahaha, you are acting weird its funny, you don’t know what you are doing and you look stupid as a result” and “You are right, it was really weird, haha, how are you feeling now? Would you like another coffee?”. Now of course, you are highly unlikely to say sentence number 1 in those exact words, but it is what she is likely to hear when you say “Haha, why the hell were you crying it is only coffee.”
Your hormones are also going to change
All of the focus during pregnancy is on the mother for obvious and deserved reasons. But when it comes to hormones, you should have sympathy, because let me tell you a secret. Your hormones are going to change too. Your cortisol levels are going to spike about 2 months after you find out about the pregnancy. This basically activates your fight or flight response, and you are going to be in a panic. But that is not all. You may be feeling very manly after you have impregnated your partner, but do you know what happens about a month before she gives birth? Your testosterone levels are going to plummet by about a third. So, you may have to deal with her hormones, but news flash, she is also having to deal with yours. You are in this together. Make sure you act like it.
*If you would like a personal coaching session via zoom with myself to help you navigate your first time dad journey, you can reach out to me directly by sending me a message on social media or the “contact” page on my website to organise a session