Q. I'm nearly eight months pregnant. My husband is always after me about what I eat. He says I need more protein, or more vegetables, or just more! What can I say to get him to lay off?
A. Why spend your already labored breath explaining? The next time your husband gives you grief about your lack of appetite, don't speak. Just grab one of your pregnancy books and point to the illustration showing a woman's internal organs during her last trimester, squished off to the side. The first time my husband saw that picture, he was amazed that I could eat at all, much less control any of my bodily functions. I could hear him offering up a little grateful prayer to the Almighty for making him a guy. So with any luck, once your husband understands the physiological changes driving your behavior, he may get out of your kitchen.
Or he may not. After witnessing your second-trimester feeding frenzy (did you experience that or am I the only one?), he may think your loss of appetite seems unhealthy. Another possibility: He's scared because he's one of two adults responsible for his baby's well-being but helpless in affecting it. He can't be the landlord during his child's gestational housing, so he wants to be sure you keep your tenant happy.
His monitoring of your meals, however, isn't doing you any favors, particularly if it's stressing you out to the point where you're sneaking in more than a few soothing pints of ice cream (again - only me?). If you say that you appreciate his concern but are, in fact, doing what your body and your baby need, and he still doesn't back off, then bring in the professionals - the medical professionals. Have your ob reassure him at your next weekly visit that you’re eating as you should. If that doesn't settle the matter, you won't have to fret very long. As soon as your baby is born, your husband will have someone else’s eating habits to worry about and forget all about yours.
Kitty O'Callaghan is a Babytalk contributing editor.