I am a dad-to-be and I’d like to confirm that I have never received morning sickness. However, if you, or someone you know, has or is receiving morning sickness then there may be an explanation.
Sympathetic pregnancy, or Couvade syndrome, describes a situation in which men, whose partners are pregnant, experience pregnancy-related symptoms.
Now, it is worth noting that Couvade syndrome is not a medically recognised physical or mental disorder. However, despite that, it could be the reason why yourself, or your partner, is experiencing morning sickness-like symptoms.
Be aware: sympathetic pregnancy does not stop at just morning sickness. The symptoms, both physical and psychological, can include abdominal pain and bloating, back pain, anxiety, morning sickness, toothache, food cravings, disruptions in sleeping patterns, and even leg cramps.
Apparently, Couvade symptoms follow a chronological pattern which begins in the first trimester of pregnancy, before disappearing in the second and then re-appearing in the third trimester. They can even extend into the period after the baby is born.
Whether couvade is real or not, what’s certain is that becoming a new parent can be exciting, emotional and stressful. For me, it’s just been exciting and emotional so far. Elle can probably vouch for the stressful!
If – like mine – your partner is pregnant, take steps to manage stress and prepare for parenthood. Understanding and planning for the challenges ahead can help ease your transition into parenthood.