'My girlfriend wants me to gain weight with her': expectant dad's pregnancy dilemma

"My girlfriend wants me to gain weight while she's pregnant."
"My girlfriend wants me to gain weight while she's pregnant." Photo: Shutterstock

It's not unheard of for a man to give up booze during their partner's pregnancy in solidarity for nine dry months, but what if your significant other asked you to gain weight to support them instead? 

That's the rather curly question one expectant father received after his girlfriend announced she was pregnant - and he's not too sure what to do.

"Just last week my girlfriend found out that she's pregnant," the author wrote in a post to reddit.  "We are both gym rats and run and lift a lot but her question to me was startling. She asked me that 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."

While the majority of redditors responded with a resounding "UM NOPE", others were a little more helpful and insightful with their advice, explaining that the mama-to-be is probably feeling a little anxious and self-concious about the way her body is changing. 

"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," one redditor said.

"100% support your girlfriend during her pregnancy by being nice, helpful, and willing to pick up some chores if she's feeling fatigued - but do NOT buy into the whole 'sympathy weight' mentality she's got going on," another added. "You'll both be miserable."

"Don't purposely gain weight," said another redditor. "She was probably only being half serious when she said that because she's worried about how her body will change and if your feelings for her will change. I totally get where she's coming from though."

"Tell her you're not getting fat because she's not getting fat, she's growing a human," said another. "It sounds like she needs reassurance that you're still attracted to her while body is going through some major changes."

But while the dad-to-be might not choose to gain weight, it may well happen accidentally anyway.

Previous research has found that about half of men do put on what's been called "preg-man-cy weight" when their partner is expecting. A quarter of the men surveyed reported eating more food to make their partner feel better about gaining weight, while others blamed more snacks around the house for the extra pounds. A quarter also admitted to having to invest in a "paternity" wardrobe to clothe their blossoming dad bods.