Did you know that often another person helps a gestating female through the process of pregnancy and birth? Sometimes that person also gets stressed or sick and that can affect the mom-to-be. Dr. ManSoo Yu at U of Missouri explains what should have been obvious to everyone, yet was pretty much ignored:

“Too often, men are treated as observers of the pregnancy process,” said Yu, assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “Acknowledging and addressing the emotional well-being of men as well as women is recommended. Providing prenatal care for expectant fathers can encourage men to have a proactive role in pregnancy, which will allow for better maternal and infant health outcomes.”

Yu found that men process pregnancy-related issues, including family problems, preparing for change and feeling overwhelmed, as financial stressors, whereas women consider them emotional stressors. Men and women also perceive support from their partners differently. In the study, men received more emotional support from their partners, and women received tangible support, through actions such as help with tasks or care. It’s possible that women give more emotional support because they feel it is important while men give tangible support because they believe it is important.

It’s embarrassing how common it is for a scientist or doctor to point out some obvious, glaring error in our medical practices. But, therein lies the joy of science. Discovering the unknown obvious truths that are and disproving the obvious truths that aren’t.