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Do Dads Experience Pregnancy Symptoms?

by Maxine
Posted July 24 2010 02:14pm
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Having Food cravings? Gaining weight? You may be experiencing sympathy symptoms in response to your partner’s pregnancy.

Dads’ are you developing food cravings? Is your weight starting to increase as the pregnancy progresses? Many expectant fathers experience at least one or two sympathetic pregnancy symptoms as a common response to their partner’s pregnancy.
When expectant fathers experience one or more symptoms of their partner’s pregnancy, they may be experiencing what is called Couvade Syndrome. Couvade is a recognized syndrome and may also be referred to as sympathy symptoms.
The percentage of men in Western countries who experience sympathetic pregnancy symptoms is larger than most people think.  The estimates range from 11- 97 men in 100 among fathers in Western countries, depending on the subgroup that is counted.

Scientists still do not understand the purpose of sympathetic pregnancy symptoms in men, but the symptoms can include nausea and vomiting, weight gain and heartburn, food cravings and diarrhea and sometimes abdominal pain. If you do experience abdominal pain and diarrhea, you should check them out with your doctor.

Some expectant fathers may feel that the symptoms they experience affect their metal well-being. These can include mood swings, nervousness, irritability and difficulty concentrating.

These symptoms typically appear during the first trimester of the pregnancy and often peak during the third trimester or during delivery. However, they can start at any time depending on the circumstances. Fathers who experience pregnancy symptoms can usually expect them to end just after delivery. Although he, like mom, may have to work hard to lose the extra weight.

Couvade’s syndrome in expectant fathers is a normal reaction to the mother’s pregnancy and is found worldwide in any culture.

If you are noticing that you are experiencing symptoms of Couvade’s you should discuss them with your doctor. We all handle stress in different ways and these symptoms indicate that you might need a physician’s help. Even if this is Couvade’s syndrome, you should see a doctor for persistent symptoms or if you are experiencing severe or unusual headaches.


If you're pregnant or thinking about having a baby, check out www.welcometoparenting.com. These interactive, online prenatal and parenting classes will provide information on pregnancy, labour and delivery, your relationship and a community of expectant and new parents just like you! Watch the overview video!



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