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Do you remember the movie Junior? It’s where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character becomes the first man to fall pregnant! Turns out, the notion is not as strange as we may think. Couvade syndrome is a condition where the male partner of a pregnant woman experiences symptoms related to pregnancy and childbirth.    

What is Couvade syndrome?

Also known as sympathetic pregnancy, Couvade syndrome is quite common. It manifests in men as back pain, nausea, cravings, bloating, irritability, gas and sometimes labour pains. Some men even develop a baby bump.    

Why does Couvade syndrome happen?

Experts mention two main reasons for the syndrome: empathy and stress. Pregnancy is a big deal, with both parties often worrying about the baby’s health, money and safety – to name just a few. With partners who are extremely close, empathy tends to be at a high level. 

 

Empathy plays a role in sympathetic pregnancy

How likely are you to get Couvade syndrome?

Any man whose partner is pregnant could get Couvade syndrome. However, studies show that men who were adopted or who have experienced infertility along with their partners are more likely to experience sympathetic pregnancy.

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