Couvade Syndrome: Apparently Men Can Experience Pregnancy Symptoms, Too by Jessica Acree


Couvade Syndrome: Apparently Men Can Experience Pregnancy Symptoms, Too

I know what you're thinking … come oooon! Turns out, couvade syndrome is really a thing. As defined by the Mayo Clinic, otherwise healthy men can experience what's called a sympathetic pregnancy (couvade). It triggers a combination of real (not imagined) physical or psychological symptoms. 

Research also shows it tends to happen more commonly during their partner's first trimester and third trimesters. Side effects can include:

  • nausea
  • heartburn
  • bloating
  • appetite changes
  • leg cramps
  • backaches
  • trouble sleeping
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • reduced libido
  • restlessness

What are they doing? Trying to steal our thunder? We are the ones growing a human! If the daddy-to-be starts requesting that you tend to his crazy food cravings or give him a foot massage, I give you permission to draw the line!

All jokes aside, the syndrome is likely born out of stress and empathy, so give them a break. Becoming a parent is a major change for both of you. They see you going through something that can be pretty taxing and difficult, especially if you're struggling with infertility, so it's kind of sweet that they're so connected they feel it all, too.

Has your partner experienced couvade syndrome?

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Elisa Schmitz
I do think there is some kind of sympathetic response, sometimes. Simply fascinating, Jessica Acree !

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