You’re six months pregnant and haven’t been able to look at, much less cook, raw chicken in weeks. You’re visibly pregnant and every afternoon is filled with nausea. These things are all par for the course. Gestation is a marathon and while everyone experiences pregnancy differently, there is one thing for certain: once you have your baby, it’ll all be worth it.
What you probably don’t need — to go along with your all-day-sickness — is your partner/husband experiencing all of the same symptoms that you are.
For example, one of the most annoying things in my life is when I have a headache and I just need some sympathy and darkness. Instead, I get a husband who has a headache too.
If your partner is experiencing pregnancy-related symptoms, he’s not alone and while you might think he’s faking it, hear me out… There is a name for what’s happening here: It’s Couvade Syndrome. Also known as sympathetic pregnancy.
You may be thinking, “Oh please!” but there is some merit to it.
I mean, wouldn’t you rather have a partner that cares so much about what you’re experiencing that he’s experiencing it too rather than a partner who says, “chin up buttercup!”?
Common Couvade symptoms include:
• Stomach pain
• Back pain
• Weight gain
• Diarrhea or constipation
• Sleep problems
• Leg cramps
• … basically any or all pregnancy-related symptoms.
Some may suggest that it’s a psychological condition, purely psychosomatic, but while there is no real diagnostic evidence, there have been studies that show that some men experience changes in their hormone levels. This can be attributed to high stress about becoming a dad, which may cause testosterone levels to lower and result in out-of-whack estrogen levels.
Let’s face it, while it may be annoying and you may want to have all of these pregnancy symptoms to yourself, you can at least find the silver lining in the fact that your partner is sensitive to you and can really relate to how you feel.
If Couvade’s has landed and your man has developed a sympathetic pregnancy, hang on for the ride, because it seems that the only cure is birth. Let’s hope that you like company while eating saltines and peeing in the middle of the night. Lucky for him, he won’t be doing any pushing.
Canada’s free pregnancy and early parenting publication Oh Baby! Magazine and ohbabymagazine.com are dedicated to providing readers with information to support them through pre-conception, pregnancy, and their child’s early years. Regular Oh Baby! features include: nutrition and health tips, recipes, cool stuff, fun contests, blogs and so much more!