What to Expect When You’re Expecting: For Dads

You just found out you’re going to be a dad. Whether this was planned or not planned, you likely have emotions swirling, and that’s okay.


It’s normal to feel excited but nervous at the same time, even if the pregnancy was planned. It’s not just your significant other that experiences these emotions – It’s important for you to be aware of what you’re feeling as well.

There are several articles online and books in the store about What to Expect When You’re Expecting for moms – but what about dads?

You guys go through it, too.

Sure, you’re not carrying the unborn child but you are the father and you do technically experience your own side of the pregnancy. Let’s dig in to what to expect when expecting: the dad’s edition.


Say what? Dads can get pregnancy symptoms, too? Yup! Here’s what to expect in this area.


Even if you’re a laid back kind of guy, you can still experience tossing and turning all night, with your mind swirling with emotions and scenarios, while your significant other is pregnant.


That nauseous feeling in the pit of your stomach isn’t just for your pregnant partner. Sure, the nausea stems from a woman’s hormones during her pregnancy, but men also find themselves with a handful of saltines.

Instead of increased estrogen, like a woman will get when pregnant causing a surge in hormones, a man’s nausea usually comes from anxiety and changes in diet.

Mood Swings

You may look at your partner and think to yourself, “Wow, how can she go from happy-go-lucky to irritable in minutes?”

Just hold on because you may be in for that same mood change as well. Even though hormones increase mood swings, it’s the same for both men and women.

Weight Gain

Sorry, dad – this one is very common. Mom’s belly isn’t the only one that will be growing in your home. Dad-to-be’s can experience sympathetic snacking.

It’s also thought of that cortisol, the stress hormone, causes stressful eating as well. Cortisol is a hormone that regulates blood sugar and insulin levels, so it will trick your body into thinking it’s hungry when you’re really not – this is how you can pack on those excess pounds.

What Else to Expect

Your Wife Will Get All the Attention

You’re expecting, too, but your partner will end up getting most of the attention. After all, maybe this one is fair – she is carrying the baby, experiencing the true pains, and has to give birth.

Be Prepared to Throw Everything Out

Okay, maybe that’s exaggerating but when your partner starts “nesting” and wanting to clean the entire house, it will surely feel like you should just pack up the house and send it to the dump – it would probably be easier.

She is going to want to organize, clean everything out. It’s a mother’s natural response when she nears the end of her pregnancy and it’s completely common and normal.

What the Experts Say

“She gets all the attention – but we know she deserves it. Although, it can be a common tension between couples during pregnancy.”

Leonard Boulanger, clinical social worker


“You can expect that the things she used to do, she may not be able to anymore. Even if she is willing, she may not be able to physically.”

Paul Woods, MD, family doctor


“You will likely spend hours comforting her over weight gain.”

Paul Woods, MD, family doctor


“Researchers claim up to 60 percent of men will experience some types of physical symptoms while their partner is pregnant.”

Dr. Jerrold Lee Shapiro
Heather Burdo

Heather is a freelance writer from New York. She has a passion for health and parenting. Heather has written for the Gluten-Free Living magazine, Mom.me, Project Eve Moms, and others.

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