Pregnancy and Parenting Features

Why Do Men Cheat?

While there may be any number of reasons why a man is unfaithful, the fact of the matter is that that most infidelity can be boiled down to a number of consistent reasons or excuses. While none of these reasons necessarily justify infidelity, it’s interesting to look at the reasons men give in order to understand some of the symptoms or triggers involved.

Here’s a look at some of the reasons men say they cheat:

  • He’s not getting any. Sex is an important part of any healthy relationship. This is often especially true for men. Men see sex as what separates a relationship from a mere friendship. If your relationship doesn’t include sex, it’s possible that the man may decide to stray.
  • She cheated first. Now, this is obviously a very immature reason to do anything, but no one is accusing men of being mature, right? A man who has been cheated on, but loves his wife too much to want to get out of the relationship, might decide to get revenge in order to even up the score.
  • His ego demands it. We all want to feel attractive to others. That’s why men shave and put on nice clothes, even if they’re just going out with the guys. That’s also why some men flirt, even though they wouldn’t normally consider cheating. An insecure man, however, wants to feel like he’s “still got it,” and may turn to cheating in order to boost his own ego.
  • He’s weak willed. When an attractive woman shows signs of interest in a man, it’s hard to say no. When a man is committed to another woman, he’s immediately faced with a dilemma. Most men give themselves virtual smack upside the head and say “no, thanks.” Some men, especially those that have less experience with women and probably haven’t been hit on much in their lives, will have a harder time with the forbidden fruit.
  • He’s not in love anymore. Let’s face it: sometimes, relationships fade. If a couple doesn’t have a strong emotional foundation, after a while the man is going to lose interest. It’s not his partner’s fault alone, of course; it takes two people working hard to stay in love.

So, what excuses have you heard men give for cheating?

What Makes Women Cheat?

While society and the media might lead us to believe that men are much more likely to be unfaithful to their wives than women, the fact of the matter is that it always takes two to tango. When one person is cheating, the person they’re cheating with is obviously involved in the infidelity. In addition, women are nearly as likely, statistically, to cheat on their husbands.

To understand some of the differences between men and women and what causes a woman to cheat, there are some things you need to know.

Women need an emotional connection

This need isn’t exclusive to women, of course, but women are often more conscious of this need than men. Men are more likely to cheat because of physical or sexual reasons, while women are more likely to have an emotional connection with the person they’re having an affair with.

If a woman isn’t emotionally satisfied at home, chances are that she may go looking elsewhere for that emotional satisfaction.

It’s natural

We’ve been told over and over again that infidelity is an evolutionary imperative for men, but not for women. This isn’t exactly true.

Among early humans, women joined a primary mate for childbearing. Yet, as the women went to gather food, they may have encountered other men, creating something of a backup plan to help rear children and gather resources if their primary mate would die.

Bad marriages lead to affairs

Women who are emotionally strung out because their marriage is in the dumps are more likely to have affairs, too.

The disillusionment and disappointment that can come after being married for some time can cause a woman to dream of a different life. Things aren’t turning out the way she hoped, so she is looking for some kind of an exit strategy.

In these situations, the affair isn’t so much the cause of the failed marriage as a result of it.

Intentional affairs

Interestingly, women are less likely to just fall into an affair than a man. More often than not, it becomes intentional. They struggle with the idea for a long time, and at some point they decide to go ahead with it.

So, what do you think? Do you know any women who’ve had affairs? What reasons did they give?


Postpartum Depression Likely After Surprise Pregnancies

Women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant are four times greater to experience postpartum depression at approximately the one year mark. This is suggested from new research published in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Research Statistics

The research, done within the University of North Carolina birthing centers surveyed expectant mothers regarding whether their pregnancy was intentional at 15-19 weeks of gestation. Women were identified as having unwanted, mistimed or unwanted pregnancies. There were 433 women (64%) with a purposeful pregnancy, 207 (30%) were mistimed and 40 (6%) had an unwanted pregnancy. Unexpected pregnancies were designated as unwanted and mistimed pregnancies. Data was analyzed for 688 women at the three month mark and 550 women twelve months after birth.

Elevated Risk

Results conclude there’s a higher risk of postpartum depression in women with unexpected pregnancies at both three months (11% vs. 5%) and twelve months (12% vs. 3%). The elevated risk was greatest at 12 months and indicates that accidental mothers have a long term chance of depression. When poverty status, education level and age were considered, mothers with unplanned pregnancies were twice as likely to develop postpartum depression one year later.

The writers concede that unexpected pregnancies may have long term effects on the emotional health of new mothers. Doctors could acknowledge pregnancy intention at appointments as well as offer support during and after pregnancy.

PPD Factors

One of the co-authors of the article, Dr. Rebecca Mercier, stated that there are many factors that contribute to postpartum depression. The end result of this research show that unexpected pregnancies that result in live birth are also a contributing component.

Accidental pregnancies that are carried to term could have long term effects on new mothers. Doctors should then consider asking about pregnancy at early appointments to check for accidental pregnancy. Women who report their pregnancy wasn’t intended or was unwanted would benefit from earlier or more specific screening during and after pregnancy.

Simple, cost effective screening mediations to point out at-risk women could allow these interventions when necessary and could potentially avoid complications from upcoming unexpected pregnancies.


Mike Marsh, BJOG Assistant Editor-in-chief stated unexpected pregnancies are connected to substandard prenatal care, high risk pregnancy behaviors, increased incidences of early birth and low birth rate, below average social status during childhood and increases in medical costs.

Marsh goes on to say the relationship between accidental pregnancy and post-birth effects has been researched to great effect. However, even less is known about the effects of unintended full-term pregnancies on the mother herself. The conclusions of this research focus on how unexpected pregnancy affects the mother. A relationship is clearly seen between postpartum depression and accidental pregnancies.

Meditating Through Menopause

Menopause is one of those inevitable processes women have to go through. While we’re much more aware today of what’s happening from the medical perspective, and while we know what causes the frequent mood swings, hot flashes and other symptoms, it’s not always easy to know just how to work through these symptoms.

One way to handle menopause is through meditation. Meditation can help to relieve menopause symptoms, and it doesn’t have to require a large amount of time or effort. Let’s take a look at what we know about meditation and menopause:

  • A study at the University of Pennsylvania found some interesting data on meditation. Meditating for as little as 12 minutes per day was enough to help improve the mood and boost the working memory for Marines deployed overseas (arguably a condition not that different, emotionally, from pregnancy at times!)
  • Meditation gives the menopausal woman a break during the day. All of the stressors, physical and emotional, that come with menopause can be overwhelming. They can create a constant feeling of stress, which then leads to things like memory loss, gaining weight and even a greater chance of osteoporosis.
  • Meditation helps to reduce menopause stress by calming your mind and heart. A hormone secreted by the heart, atrial natriuretic peptide, affects the way your brain releases cortisol – a stress hormone. Every time your heart beats, it sends that signal. By slowing your heart beat, you’re actually causing your body to produce less cortisol and helping to control how your body responds to stress.

While it’s easy to talk about meditating, it can be challenging to find time to do it. The good news is that you can meditate almost anywhere, and all you need is 12 uninterrupted minutes a day. You can spend a few minutes during lunch simply resting your mind and body, listening to the things going on around you, and becoming at peace with your environment.

Many menopausal women choose to participate in group classes, such as yoga classes, that offer a meditative portion as well. Not only do you gain the benefit of meditation, you get the yoga workout as well.

So, what do you think? Have you started menopause? How do you deal with menopause stress?


Folk Remedies Offered During Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding can sometimes be difficult for both mothers and babies. Using tea bags and cabbage leaves to alleviate pain or consuming oatmeal to add to your milk production are few of the natural remedies women recommend to breastfeeding mothers who seek help.

Conducting the Research

The survey’s conclusions are located at Breastfeeding Medicine.

An online questionnaire of 124 breastfeeding experts associated with various U.S. medical sites across 29 states show that 69 percent disclosed they heard of folk remedies. 65 percent endorsed one or more of these techniques.

Survey responders were requested to give examples of alternative remedies they’ve heard of, in addition to information they regularly passed to new mothers. Advice was categorized into five divisions: advice on how to increase milk production, to begin breastfeeding, to relieve pain that coincides with breastfeeding, assistance in weaning, and avoiding certain substances for the baby’s health.

Survey Results

The survey shows that particular natural remedies are hotly debated among experts, especially regarding natural remedies to boost milk production to alleviate breastfeeding related pain. They state that advocating folk remedies outside of conventional medical means is an increasingly common practice with breastfeeding consultants who advise mothers about nursing.

Over 50 percent of the breastfeeding advisors who answered the polls said they’re aware of and told others about folklore remedies designed to either boost milk production or assist with breastfeeding pains. Most respondents stated they are familiar with folklore remedies that advise staying away from particular foods to avoid infant gassiness, yet only two doctors passed on this knowledge to their patients.

Alcohol Remedies

Drinking beer to enhance milk production is a long-time tradition that was in the headlines when singer Mariah Carey was subjected to child endangerment charges for attempting it. This tradition started in the 1800s. However, studies show this method provides no increase of milk production.

Drinking alcohol has also been exhibited to decrease breast milk production. In fact, it may have negative effects on the newborn. Many cultures suggest mothers consume oatmeal to boost milk production. However, no research has been administered to observe its use.

Folk traditions which assist with breastfeeding pain were brought up, including the use of cabbage leaves, despite studies that question their effectiveness.

Tea Bags

Many breastfeeding experts suggest tea bags to assist with a mother’s sore nipples. A randomized test of breastfeeding mothers experiencing pain showed tea bags provided no extra benefits than a water compress. An inspection of studies examined treatments for sore nipples showed that there wasn’t a significant advantage to using tea bags, expressed milk or lanolin on the nipple.


The breastfeeding consultants who gave advice based on folklore compared with those who made medical recommendations didn’t have any discernible difference regarding age, experience, education, parity or socioeconomic status.

The folk traditions expressed in this questionnaire represented a specific culture in the United States, and folklore between different cultures can vary greatly. Surveys of breastfeeding consultants in different nations and different ethnicities may end up with different results.