If men could get pregnant...
...Let's just take a moment to imagine...
Women often feel they get a raw deal having to endure both pregnancy and labour and some other halves joke that they would carry the load, so to speak, if they could. So how would that work?
Would we see a big change in attitudes towards pregnancy, and a little bit more empathy from a patriarchal workplace, if men gave birth? Calling in sick wouldn’t be such a no-no for bouts of morning sickness, for example, and there would be more leeway for taking time off for ante-natal classes and other check ups.
It’s also possible men would be cut a little more slack - sitting with their feet up and a newspaper on their bump wouldn’t be considered lazy, it would be a responsible way taking care of themselves.
And there would be a great excuse to get out of trips to Ikea, any heavy lifting, emptying the bins, cutting the grass...you catch my drift.
So what would happen?
1. More flexible paternity and parental leave: Because the new dad couldn’t be expected to do it solo!
2. The numbers of one-child families would grow because a lot of men would not be keen to repeat the childbirth experience.
3. As a follow on from no 2, there would be no more male jokes about taking a couple of painkillers and going back to work the following day.
4. Pregnancy announcements would be short and low key, for example. Dad-to-be’s text message: I’m pregnant, mate. Due November. Sweet!
5. The baby shower would be spent watching Match of the Day with beers for the lads and a non-alcoholic one for the dad-to-be. No gimmicks and gifts, unless they’re related to beer, football and possibly Star Wars.
6. There would be statutory days off for morning sickness and nobody would question a man ringing in to say he was unable to work because he felt like crap!
7. Men would find it easier to disguise a bump in the early days because they could pass it off as a beer belly.
8. There would be no judgements about losing the baby weight after the baby is born. In fact, it would almost be seen as a sign of macho pride to hang on to some of the bump!
9. Nobody would question a man’s decision to go back to work after paternity leave.
10. If he did go back to the workforce, there would be more flexible, family-friendly childcare measures in place.