A man took to Reddit to complain about his wife who wanted him to stop drinking alcohol while she was pregnant and still wants him to abstain now that the baby is three months old. He says he only drinks four beers on Friday and Saturday nights. His wife doesn’t even want him to do that, though, as she’s now nursing and pumping and still can’t drink herself.
She did say that he can drink at social events, but he adds that these are very rare occasions in the life of the parents of a three-month-old.
This wife’s desire for her husband to quit alcohol all started while she was pregnant. She had watched her friend’s husbands stop drinking in support of their pregnancies. This man’s wife simply wanted him to stop drinking in solidarity with her pregnancy as well.
But this particular husband was completely flummoxed by this demand. He didn’t understand why his wife wanted him to be “going through this with her,” as he stated in his post.
In his post, he wrote:
If I had a sickness and [was] unable to walk or something, I don’t think that I would try to restrict her from walking so that she would be ‘going through this with me’ or if I had a gluten allergy I wouldn’t tell her she couldn’t enjoy a pizza whenever she wanted…
It might be true that he should still be allowed to have his freedom. And yet, he should be having more empathy for his wife.
Being pregnant isn't exactly the same as having a gluten allergy. That, and there are serious health reasons as to why a man should abstain from alcohol both when his wife is pregnant and when she's nursing.
There is no known safe level of alcohol drinking during pregnancy and research has shown that many women are more likely to avoid alcohol when their partners do too.
Tabitha Corser, a drug and alcohol counselor, encourages men to abstain from alcohol during their partner's pregnancies.
Pregnancy, particularly for first-timers, can be a time of enormous pressure and scrutiny and having a partner who remains alcohol-free can be very encouraging for many women. It means that they don't feel so isolated, particularly in social situations.
And yet, no one is saying that it's not tough for a dad to quit drinking just because his wife has to. Duncan Buchanan, dad to two girls, supported his wife by not drinking during her last pregnancy. Still, he said it was a challenge to abstain from alcohol in solidarity with his wife.
One, he relates how hard it was to stop drinking in the first place. Two, he was actually scolded in social settings for not drinking. Surprisingly, this scolding came equally from other women as it did from other men.
In short, it's not easy for a dad to abstain from alcohol in solidarity with his wife, but still, it's best for her and the baby, even if not everyone understands. It makes it easier for her to not drink, which is best for the baby.
Abstaining from alcohol can have other benefits for a man's health as well. Quitting booze can improve his immune system, reduce his blood pressure, improve his kidney function, and encourage weight loss.
That, and abstaining from alcohol shouldn't just continue while a mom is pregnant. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it's just as important for a mom to not drink while she's nursing.
Again, anything a dad can do to support his wife not to drink is best for the baby's health. If this means him not drinking either, then how hard should it be for him to stop?
And yet, to this Reddit poster's benefit, it’s not like he’s going out to bars and leaving his wife all alone with a three-month-old baby. He says that typically, when he drinks these days, it’s at home, especially while a few buddies are over for a barbecue. And then it’s just four beers on Friday and Saturday nights.
He says he still partakes in the parenting duties. He just wants to be able to enjoy his weekend brews.
But his wife doesn’t even want him to do that, except at the chance social occasion. Is that fair?
He may feel like she's impinging on his freedom, but if it's what she needs to ensure his baby's health, then why not just quit drinking? If she can’t drink alcohol, then he shouldn’t either.
What do you think? Should a dad still be able to enjoy his weekend beers while his wife is pregnant and/or nursing? Do you think a wife is being too strict when she asks her husband to not?
Or should a man always stop drinking in solidarity with his pregnant or nursing wife? Let me know your opinion in the comments.
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