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While Lisa is pregnant, she gets support from her husband and his grandparents.

Robin ends up on double duty, both hunting and building because pregnancy makes it difficult for Lisa to hunt.

His grandma is on the emotional support side and will do anything, be it putting grains in a cloth to use as a heating pad or brewing an anti-nausea tea.

Robin's grandpa ends up gardening.

Last but not least, Lisa gets to relax and knit clothes for her baby.

But I wonder if this is practical for all pregnancies that the pregnant woman relaxes and makes clothes for her baby or babies while somebody else ends up on double duty during the pregnancy. Is this even practical for Lisa's pregnancy where Robin builds things like a wardrobe and a crib and toys as well as hunts food for all 4 of them?

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    $\begingroup$ Treating this like it's a serious world building question, I have a question, what time period are we talking about? $\endgroup$
    – Dan Clarke
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 7:41
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    $\begingroup$ Depends on the circumstances, Many societies this wouldn't happen, some the women work until they give birth. Others such as slaves don't even get any choice $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 7:42
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    $\begingroup$ As a model for your society it assumes everyone still has grandparents around when it comes to giving birth. As a discussion on a particular family it isn't really within the scope of world building. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean his parents? And what about her parents? $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 9:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot In a traditional society, and this one looks like one, a woman lives with her husband and his parents. Once she leaves her parents' house he belongs to the family of her husband and they take care of her. Her own parents take care of their daughters-in-law. The extent of this can be different. In extreme cases, parents lose all rights and contact with their daughters. In China, after a marriage arrangement, a girl would be sent to a family she'd been promised to even if a boy was dead. Those girls were very much slaves with no support of their own parents. $\endgroup$
    – Olga
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 10:17

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First of all, pregnancy is not some kind of illness. If it goes normally physical activity is not limited till the third trimester. There are some extra fatigue and possible nausea in the first trimester, but not everybody experiences them.

With this in mind, Robin will have 'double duty' only for 4-5 months: 2 before the delivery and 2-3 after the delivery. This burden can be avoided with some preparation.

If you have a hunter-gatherer society in mind, the majority of calories came from gathering rather than hunting. And pregnancy does not have a huge impact on gathering. A woman can continue foraging for food until the day of delivery.

In an agrarian society, men do not do a lot of hunting. And women keep working through pregnancy. There is so much to do on a farm, especially during growing season, that there is no time for relaxing and knitting. Knitting would be done in winter and, probably, well in advance. Lisa will marry Robin and will come to live in his house with a full set of baby clothes.

I also do not think that it is very practical from a psychological point of view to remove a pregnant woman from her normal activities. Her relaxing and knitting, while everybody else is working extra-hard, will create unnecessary tension. Moreover, it will strengthen and propagate the idea of a pregnancy being an unhealthy and somewhat abnormal condition. In a way, this is what we have in contemporary developed countries. And this does not help anyone.

Your role allocation for grandparents is also not very practical unless you are talking about a society where everybody has children at a very late age (about 40). If grandfather is in his late 30s or early 40s he is perfectly capable of participating in a hunt. He might be a better hunter, considering his experience. A grandmother of the same age also can hunt or do gardening. There is no need to reduce her to babysitting. A pregnant woman is not a little baby, she is capable of taking care of herself most of the time.


Addendum: Only in a very rich society people can take extended leaves to relax and take care of their loved ones. In poor societies, even rich people do not have this opportunity and have to work all the time. People depend on each other's contribution and workload too much. If one stops working everything goes astray.


Addendum 2:

Based on the OP's:

Well first off Lisa's pregnancy is difficult(every symptom in the book difficult),justifying her difficulty in hunting. Second, Robin's grandma and grandpa are probably at least in their 60s. Third, Grandma gave birth to who would be Robin's mother at least 20 years ago. And fourth, Lisa's parents and Robin's parents died, all 4 of them but Lisa has never known where her grandparents were. Also, they have gotten to the point of growing plants but have not domesticated any animals so they still hunt for their meat and bones. Plus they have a lot of assistance from humanoids on a planet nearby

It seems that Lisa's pregnancy is not normal. Which means that Lisa's chances of survival are very low regardless of the care she receives from Robin and his grandparents. Even if the grandmother/grandfather/Robin is a qualified gynaecologist it can be impossible to carry to term an 'every symptom in the book difficult' pregnancy without specialised equipment. Lisa will probably fare the best if she miscarries and tries again later.

Considering that there are humanoids nearby, it makes no sense for those 4 people to live on their own. They should join humanoids as soon as possible and live with them. Unless I misunderstood and a planet nearby means a different planet nearby. If this is the case, instead of hunting and gardening, Robin and Co should devise a system of communication to beg technologically superior humanoids for assistance with Lisa's complicated pregnancy.

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    $\begingroup$ I was about to write much the same, so I ended up upvoting your answer. You may want to add what OP describes is essentially a rich society where anyone, for whatever reason, can afford taking extended leave. This is not a common case in all humankind history, especially in hunter/gather tribes; everyone is already doing whatever they can to get enough food with no room for letting anyone "relax and enjoy life". $\endgroup$
    – ZioByte
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 11:38
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    $\begingroup$ To add to this, Grandma would probably also be pregnant, since Lisa and Robin are likely in their mid-teens. $\endgroup$
    – wetcircuit
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ @wetcircuit we do not know about the time period the OP is talking about. Moreover, a lot of data I saw does not support the idea of very early pregnancies in the past. You also need to consider that in antiquity and the Middle Ages the menstruations started later and menopauses occurred earlier than today. Nutritional deficiencies also can prevent late pregnancies (by dramatically increasing the risk of early miscarriages). With that said, while grandma might not be pregnant she is still very likely to have young children if Robin is one of the oldest children. $\endgroup$
    – Olga
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ Well first off Lisa's pregnancy is difficult(every symptom in the book difficult),justifying her difficulty in hunting. Second, Robin's grandma and grandpa are probably at least in their 60s. Third, Grandma gave birth to who would be Robin's mother at least 20 years ago. And fourth, Lisa's parents and Robin's parents died, all 4 of them but Lisa has never known where her grandparents were. Also, they have gotten to the point of growing plants but have not domesticated any animals so they still hunt for their meat and bones. Plus they have a lot of assistance from humanoids on a planet nearby. $\endgroup$
    – Caters
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 19:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Caters all these details belong to the question and they substantially change it. I also would like you to consider that Lisa chances of survival are extremely low if her pregnancy is 'every symptom in the book difficult'. Without a proper medical care, even minor complications can lead to a miscarriage. Anything bigger is lethal to both a mother and a child. $\endgroup$
    – Olga
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 20:01

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