Profile of a Pregnancy: The Answers

Profile of a Pregnancy: The Answers
New parents-to-be Shannon and Morgan have questions for Dr. Phil.
Dr. Phil asks Shannon about her theory of managing the baby like she ran a business. "I said I imagine in the best scenario that I will try to manage the household. And I know I'm being overly optimistic," admits Shannon.


"There are a number of keys that I really would like you to take away with you that I think are a foundation to a good pregnancy and good parenting," says Dr. Phil. He tells her that one of the keys is to have realistic expectancies. "Let's mark that one off your list: that you're going to run this like a business and it's going to go just fine."


He tells Morgan and Shannon the good news: They are about to begin the most joyous time in their lives. "You are getting ready to change all of your thinking. You're getting ready to have a completely different attitude and you aren't going to care that it isn't running like a business," he says.


Shannon is concerned about the transition from working professional to being a stay-at-home mom. Dr. Phil quotes her: "'I tend to feel guilty about a potential life of leisure.' Let me ease your guilt." Dr. Phil explains that the latest research estimates that a stay-at-home mom puts in the hours and expends the energy equal to two full-time jobs outside the home.

Dr. Phil tackles one of Morgan's questions. "You're afraid of losing spontaneity, right? I worried about it as well. You think you're not going to be able to do the things that you now do that you consider fun and exciting. But it is going to be replaced with things that pale in comparison." Using an example of watching a baby's face light up when seeing something for the first time, Dr. Phil says, "The rewards outweigh the sacrifices a thousand to one."


As far as who should be allowed in the delivery room, Dr. Phil says, "My attitude is [the mom] is the one who has to do the delivering, she's the one who gets to make that decision." Morgan agrees that it will be Shannon's choice ultimately. "And if people get upset," says Dr. Phil, "they'll get over it as soon as you come out into the waiting room and tell them."
Shannon says she hopes their child will have a similar personality as Morgan and her and share their interests. "If we have a nuclear physicist for a kid, it may be a challenge to relate," she says.


"You want some commonality," says Dr. Phil. "Does the term DNA mean anything to you?" he asks. "I think it's a real problem when parents want to shape a child's personality rather than react to it," he says, adding, "You want a child to just be who they are." Using Shannon and Morgan's personality as an example, he says, "We want kids to color outside the lines. You don't want the child to be obsessive compulsive, or a neat freak. They will find their way, and you guys are going t have to learn to bend. You can't shape it as much as you want to," he says.

Since Morgan has so many questions when it comes to handling the baby, Dr. Phil sent him off to "Boot Camp for New Dads." There, Morgan got a chance to spend some time with a baby and learn the fine art of changing diapers, swaddling, feeding and burping the baby.


Dr. Phil tests what Morgan learned at boot camp by timing him while he changes a diaper on a male doll. He does well and finishes in one minute, 19 seconds, but Dr. Phil has one criticism. "When you have a baby boy, the first thing you want to do is cover up the weapon," he jokes, explaining how not to get peed on.


Noting that Morgan got good scores at the daddy boot camp, Dr. Phil explains that the second key to a successful experience is preparation. "Dads really have to not be crowded out of these things," he says, adding that moms tend to take over a lot of the baby responsibilities, but dads need that time too.

"How are you doing with this weight gain?" Dr. Phil asks Shannon. She explains that she's in the between stages where she doesn't look clearly pregnant; she just looks a little heavy. Dr. Phil turns to Morgan, "This is a critical question. Do you think she looks heavy?" he asks.


"Not heavy, but bigger," says Morgan, who quickly adds that he thinks Shannon looks beautiful.


"It is a shift in your body image," Dr. Phil explains to Shannon. "For the first time in your life, it isn't all about you."


He shows her a graphic of where pregnancy weight tends to go. Seven pounds go to maternal stores of fat, protein and other nutrients. Four pounds go to increased body fluids. Another four pounds go to breast growth, two pounds to an enlarged uterus, two pounds to the amniotic fluid, one pound to the placenta and eight pounds to the baby.

"That's 30 pounds. Is there anything in there you think you can cut down?" he asks.


"No," responds Shannon. "I'm just hoping I don't go above the seven pounds of maternal fat," she says.


Dr. Phil shows a picture of Robin when she was pregnant with one of their sons, explaining that she gained 68 pounds because during her last week before delivery she was eating a banana split every night. "She spilled more than you gained," jokes Dr. Phil.
To help Shannon manage her pregnancy weight as well as her postpartum weight loss, Dr. Phil sent her off to a gym specifically designed for pregnant women. There, Shannon got the opportunity to be supervised while lifting weights, doing water aerobics, yoga and stretching exercises.


Shannon says she enjoyed the classes and talking with other pregnant women about their experiences. "Women who exercise during pregnancy are much less likely to have postpartum depression, and much more likely to regain their figure and lose the weight rapidly afterward," Dr. Phil says, suggesting that their exercise should be supervised.


The third key to making this a successful experience is patience. "If you are an exerciser and you take care of yourself afterward, [the weight] will come off in six to eight weeks if you work at it," Dr. Phil says.

Dr. Phil presents Morgan and Shannon with a 3D sonogram of their baby at the 20th week of her pregnancy. He explains that key four is providing a unified front and mutual support for each other during the pregnancy experience.


As for picking the baby's name, Dr. Phil says, "Here's one piece of advice: Don't pick a common name and spell it funny," says Dr. Phil, explaining that this baby will eventually grow into an adult and will have to deal with mispronunciations.