#notall"pregnant"men
December 18, 2014 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Although doctors have noticed that fathers-to-be can experience weight gain, morning vomiting, heartburn, and restlessness, as well as more random symptoms like toothaches and leg cramps, there hasn't been any agreement as to what causes it. Say hello to Couvade Syndrome aka 'Male Sympathetic Pregnancy'. posted by Brandon Blatcher (22 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
Despite my general distaste for the whole baby thing I always find this pretty neat. Also it would be interesting to see a study done on non-male partners of pregnant women to see if similar things happen at a similar rate.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:54 AM on December 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


I guess that explains why I want to lie on the couch a lot.
posted by michaelh at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Pregnant Mrs. Qi: "I'm dying for a Triple Whataburger with extra cheese, chocolate shake and a large chicken bites"
Come back with food. Mrs. Qi sniffs it, turns green and says "I don't want it."
Can't let a perfectly good meal go to waste. Happened many times during her pregnancy. Nine months later I gained 20 pounds.
But if it makes every body feel better we can call it a syndrome.
posted by qi at 9:01 AM on December 18, 2014 [25 favorites]


No one ever asked to touch my belly.
posted by Kabanos at 9:08 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


My husband used to bring home cakes weekly and I'd be like 'I don't want that, why are you trying to make me gain all this weight!' and he'd say 'No, it's for the baby....' And then nom nom eat most of it himself.
posted by kitcat at 9:16 AM on December 18, 2014 [3 favorites]


You know, the buried lede here for me is this: "About 80% of both women and men hold their newborn infant to the left and 20% to the right, irrespective of handedness."

Did not know that! And my first thought would have been that handedness was the cause (to keep the dominant hand free), but obviously not.

Another paper on the subject: Infant holding biases and their relations to hemispheric specializations for perceiving facial emotions.

In conclusion, humans are weird.
posted by Kabanos at 9:18 AM on December 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


I still haven't lost my baby weight from my wife's first pregnancy. When this second one is done I'm going to need a dialling-wand and a winch to get me out of the house.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


You know, the buried lede here for me is this: "About 80% of both women and men hold their newborn infant to the left and 20% to the right, irrespective of handedness."

Did not know that! And my first thought would have been that handedness was the cause (to keep the dominant hand free), but obviously not.


Interesting.
I always kept my daughter in my right arm, because it seemed to make sense (in my sleep deprived state) that I should hold her with my strongest arm.
I'm right-handed, so it made for interesting mornings as I tried to make coffee left-handed while holding a cranky baby in my right.

But then, I'm one of those odd people who holds a knife in their left hand while eating European-style.
posted by madajb at 9:30 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ok I hate to be a party pooper, but I don't think there's anything mysterious going on here:

The weight gain is explained by overeating.
heart burn - overeating, especially fatty foods
morning vomiting -- late night overeating + acid reflux
restlessness -- because tummy doesn't feel good
toothaches -- acid reflux from overeating leads to irritated mucous membranes in mouth
leg cramps -- dehydration from eating too much salty snacks and not drinking enough water

You're welcome!
posted by kitcat at 9:31 AM on December 18, 2014


My suspicion would be that holding on the left side lets the baby hear a beating heart, which makes for calmer and less fussy baby and maybe the possibility of being allowed to sleep at some point. Not be a conscious thing, but I'd guess most parents are trained into it pretty quickly.
posted by kagredon at 9:42 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


...or maybe not.
posted by kagredon at 9:49 AM on December 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


I think this explains me. I'm sympathetically pregnant with my phantom girlfriend!
posted by symbioid at 9:51 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


Ok I hate to be a party pooper, but I don't think there's anything mysterious going on here:

You're right, that's all in the single link article!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:56 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


My participation in pregnancy consisted of late night emergency runs to Dunkin' Donuts, awkward hours in Lamaze classes hopelessly trying to be a coach and uncomfortable visits to the La Leche League offices. Pretty sure none of that qualifies as sympathy pains...
posted by jim in austin at 10:30 AM on December 18, 2014


I informed my husband that if he got Couvade while I was pregnant, he was also getting a divorce. ONE OF US is busy creating life and the other is not going to sit there whining, he is going to PROVIDE FAST FOOT AND FOOT RUBS.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:30 AM on December 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


newborn infant to the left

Heart's on the left side.
posted by Leon at 11:06 AM on December 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, yes, my wife is 7mo. preg and I have been overeating (a la qi's comment)...But riddle me this: Why am I emo AF now, when I used to just be hardcore / punk AF?
Huh? Huh? Riddle me that!
Oh yeah, that's right... I am participating in an unprecedented (to me) act of creation of life (!), and instead of working hard to create the best possible environment for a fragile little child, I am typing on the internet. Typing on the internet! I am now ultra-sad.
posted by mean square error at 12:16 PM on December 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


Huh, this has been well known for ages and that first article is pretty bad about explaining (any of) the (recent) research related to Couvade. Spoiler - it's hormones. Men undergo similar hormonal shifts compared with their pregnant partner. From the abstract to Storey et al. 2000,

"Men and women had similar stage-specific differences in hormone levels, including higher concentrations of prolactin and cortisol in the period just before the births and lower postnatal concentrations of sex steroids (testosterone or estradiol). Men with more pregnancy (couvade) symptoms and men who were most affected by the infant reactivity test had higher prolactin levels and greater post-test reduction in testosterone. Hormone concentrations were correlated between partners. This pattern of hormonal change in men and other paternal mammals, and its absence in nonpaternal species, suggests that hormones may play a role in priming males to provide care for young."

So yeah, makes sense men have pregnancy symptoms.
posted by hydrobatidae at 12:19 PM on December 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Weight gain because of drinking for 2.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 8:56 PM on December 18, 2014


Leon: "Heart's on the left side."

You've found the reason..."...or maybe not."
posted by Bugbread at 9:21 PM on December 18, 2014


My youngest is 17, but I think I still have this problem of eating for two.
posted by 724A at 10:47 PM on December 18, 2014


I got nauseous in the first trimester. FWIW.
posted by clvrmnky at 6:51 AM on December 24, 2014


« Older A sweary blog about swearing   |   Oh dearie me. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments