Couvade Syndrome

If you are a pregnant woman and experiencing the symptoms of pregnancy, chances are that the dad-to-be may be experiencing similar symptoms too. Many men experience weight gain, vomiting, queasiness, appetite changes, constipation, cramps, abdominal pain, food cravings and other symptoms like their partner during pregnancy. This unique condition is known as Couvade Syndrome, and Sympathetic Pregnancy, and is usually experienced by the husband of the pregnant woman. The term Couvade comes from the French word couvee, which means 'to hatch,' and doctors are still debating whether this syndrome is a psychosomatic or a mechanical condition.

The symptoms of Couvade first appear during the third month of pregnancy. They become severe in the third trimester and usually end during delivery. Couvade is found in societies where it more culturally accepted, and studies have found that it is higher with couples with a history of infertility. Studies have also shown that you could be more prone to the Couvade syndrome if you were adopted.

So, how do you treat a husband who is suffering from the Couvade syndrome? The cure for the Couvade syndrome is birth! Once the mother-to-be gives birth, the husband's symptoms are more likely to disappear and he should get better. However, if his condition still continues, seek medical attention. Dads-to-be can also help treat themselves by becoming more involved with their partner's pregnancy. By facing the fear of fatherhood and communicating with your spouse, you should be able to handle your 'sympathetic pregnancy' better.

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