It’s amazing how male emperor penguins naturally know their role in baby-making.
The female emperor penguin is responsible for egg-laying, but she is so physically depleted after mating and producing her fertilized egg that she was must return to the ocean to feed. She leaves the care of the couple’s egg to the father-to-be for two months. It is his responsibility to keep the egg warm through the freezing Antarctic winter.
For 60 days or more, the father goes without eating while incubating the egg between the tops of his feet and his pouch. The winter cold can be brutal, and he has to be cautious with his movements, careful not to expose the egg to the bone-chilling temperatures.
Male penguins are incredible dads and great role models for parental responsibilities. What can male human beings learn from them?
While the male penguin cares for the egg for two months, he never complains. It takes a great deal of patience and determination to suffer through the bitter cold while maintaining his stance to keep the egg warm as he goes about his day. Fortunately, he’s in good company with his fellow penguin dads.
Male humans need to keep in mind how much patience is required while trying to conceive with their partner, particularly if they do not get pregnant right away. Couples may endure months or even years of disappointment and heartbreak.
What you can mimic from male penguins
Involve yourself in the pregnancy journey, remembering that parenting starts before conception. Take the time to educate yourself on what you can do to boost your fertility and your partner’s. By being patient, you ward off stress, which is a major barrier to getting pregnant. Research has shown that stress may affect men’s testosterone levels and degrade sperm production.
Considering that men carry 50% of the load in successful egg fertilization, men should recognize the vital roles they play.
When asked to choose the most important recommendation for men who want to start a family, Dr. Jared Robins, chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Northwestern Medicine's Fertility and Reproductive Medicine in Chicago, says, “A man should make sure he has a happy, healthy lifestyle — and a good relationship."
What penguins can teach us about reproduction
To be a responsible “pre-parent,” men need to own their fertility and strive to be their best — physically, mentally, and emotionally — not only for their partner, but for their future child. The state of the man’s body has a crucial effect on the couple’s reproduction. This means that men should abstain from the activities that could compromise their reproductive systems and lead to abnormal hormone levels and a decrease in sperm count.
While human males don’t need to commit to months-long egg-coddling in frigid weather, they should abide by these medical guidelines:
What penguins go through just to have a baby is probably one of the most romantic and truest tests of love that you will find in nature. Imagine being apart for two months to fulfill your duties and sharing responsibilities so that each of you is at your best when your offspring needs you.
While most human couples don’t need to be apart during pregnancy, men can prove their commitment to starting or expanding a family by being ever-present and involved in every aspect of childbearing.
Do what penguins do
Synchronize schedules with your partner. Think of exciting and fun ways to spend those planned baby-making moments together so that they don’t become monotonous. Spark the romance by strengthening your emotional bond through communication and sharing both special milestones and routine activities.