Why Dads Gain Pregnancy Weight And How To Prevent It

Put down the gross craving sandwich and do some prenatal yoga, already.

Originally Published: 
Flickr / Shira Gal

Gaining sympathy weight during pregnancy is totally normal. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger gained tons of weight during pregnancy. Granted, that pregnancy was his own. Also, having Danny Devito as his OB didn’t help anything. The point is: even though you’re not carrying Junior, you may well gain weight over the 9-month journey to fatherhood.

Flickr / Ana

This “sympathy weight” isn’t a myth. In fact, a 2009 study found that men reportedly gained an average of 14 pounds during their partner’s pregnancy. Here’s why dudes said they gained pregnancy weight:

  • Eating outside the home with pregnant partners more often. (Because it’s not like you’re going to say no to her Buffalo Wild Wings cravings. Or her Cheesecake Factory cravings. Or her Dairy Queen cravings. Or … )
  • The explosion of new snack options in the house. (Because you need the ingredients for that peanut-butter-pickle-Dorito-sandwich around if you’re going to make them on demand.)
  • An overwhelming desire to make their partners feel better about their own weight. (Because why should she feel like she’s the only one who grunts when she tries to stand up?)
  • Being served portion sizes for two, just like her. (Because asking for less would be rude and, let’s face it, you don’t want to be rude when she can be a little … unpredictable.)

Sadly, things don’t get much better after the kid arrives. A 2015 study that followed 10,000 men for 2 decades found that the ones who had children were likely to gain an average of 4 pounds. The single dudes without children? Those jerks lost over a pound, probably because of all the sex they were having.

Flickr / US Army

Flickr / US Army

So, how to fight the prenatal dad bloat? Here are some simple steps to make sure the sympathy stay on your lips and not on your hips:

Get Outside With Her: There are plenty of activities she can do while pregnant that will help keep her own weight gain in healthy parameters. Join her on walks, swims or even low impact weight lifting. Just make sure you know what’s safe. Safe? Walking around and shopping for burpees. Not safe? Running around and doing burpees.

Hit The Yoga Mat: If she’s into doing prenatal yoga, you should be into it too. All of the good things it does for her, including increasing strength, flexibility and lowering stress levels, will help you, too. Plus it’ll burn calories and being surrounded by women in yoga pants is often a good thing.

Turn Your Home Into A Gym: Seriously, gym memberships and 2-hour workouts are so last decade. These days, it’s all about the WODs and 7-Minute Workouts, and HiiTs. And if all those options feel a little bit too much like something gym bros do when they’re not at the gym, then check out Fatherly’s home workout section, where you’ll find everything from turning a playground into a gym to preparing your lower back for kid-carrying duty.

As for the food? Just stop eating so much of it, man. Seriously. That’s it. Besides, those peanut-butter-pickle-Dorito-sandwiches are just nasty. What are you even thinking?

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