It's natural for guys to seek advice on the world wide web when they discover they are going to be a dad for the first time.
However, one man's pregnancy-related question sparked a contentious debate on reddit when he revealed that his girlfriend asked him to gain weight with her over the next nine months.
"Just last week my girlfriend found out that she’s pregnant. We are both gym rats and run and lift a lot but her question to me was startling," he wrote. "She asked me while she’s pregnant to get fat with her. I really don’t want to lose my body but I am just so unsure about this. Anyone got tips?"
And users on the online forum were definitely divided over the topic. For the most part, people sided with the dad-to-be, and thought his girlfriend was being selfish.
"She doesn't have to get fat while pregnant. And that request is extremely unreasonable," one wrote. Another agreed, adding, "For a lot of couples, the dad gains weight with his pregnant woman by accident anyway, but encouraging it is really a bad idea especially looking at the lack of time and stress a baby brings. Losing weight will drop down the priority list and that's even more stupid if the weight was gained on purpose and completely unnecessarily."
A third offered this bleak prediction:
Short answer: Do not fall for this. Don’t gain this ‘sympathy’ weight. Stick to your health.
Otherwise I imagine two scenarios: 1) Your GF will resent you for being healthy while she’s being unhealthy (She’ll hate on you for looking great while she ‘has’ to look bad) or 2) She’ll resent you for the weight gain you both agreed to (sounds irrational but I swear that sounds like a real possibility with someone who’s just asked you to give up your health like this), meaning you’ll have both given up your health for a bunch of meaningless arguing about how you ‘let’ her get fat, or helped encourage it. Then you’ll resent her. Cue endless cycle.
Instead of criticizing the pregnant girlfriend, others sympathized with her and offered @GlutenFreejk some advice for how to make her feel better about losing her gym figure.
"She's insecure about her weight. Focus on her, compliment her new curves, do something that shows you still care about her regardless of her temporary appearance," one redditor recommended. Another suggested, "She WILL gain weight, and normal-sized women are supposed to gain 25-35lbs. More than anything, reassure her that she looks great during and after pregnancy and help make healthy meals and work out with her throughout so she doesn’t feel abandoned."
Some pointed out that while he might not plan to gain weight with his pregnant partner, chances are he will. "I think that this is a bit of a crazy request, but you also are likely to either gain weight or be somewhat of a sh--ty dad. Pregnancy is incredibly demanding, and you should be treating her right. That means less time at the gym and more time helping her, attending classes, doctors' appointments, etc," they explained.
But wait... is she actually trying to help her boyfriend out like another redditor believes? "Dude she obviously knows she’s gonna be a nervous, jealous pregnant wreck and SHE is trying to help YOU," they wrote. "You see, if you get fat then you don’t have to worry about her getting jealous of other girls since you’ll be fat, so she won’t have to eat you for existing in a fit of rage. She’s trying to help, man."
All jokes aside, plenty of the women on the website — many of them moms themselves — urged the concerned boyfriend to remind his GF that she can exercise and stay active during her pregnancy.
"If you have been going to the gym, she should continue going to the gym. Active people can remain active. People act like if you get pregnant you have to treat yourself like you are made of glass, but you really don't," one woman noted. "I was going to a personal trainer when I got pregnant with my second, and continued throughout my whole pregnancy. My doctor told me there was no reason I couldn't keep doing what I was doing."
And always remember, mamas-to-be, "Pregnancy weight gain isn’t 'getting fat.' It’s a combination of the baby’s own weight, and her body building an entire life support system to supply the growing baby with everything they need. If she doesn’t gain that weight, the baby won’t be healthy. It’s not fat, it’s building an entire new human being out of your body."