Couvade Syndrome

The Couvade Syndrome (also known as sympathetic pregnancy), is a condition in which an – obviously - male partner experiences some of the same symptoms and behaviour of an expectant mother.

The symptoms may include stomach pain, back pain, indigestion, changes in appetite, weight gain, diarrhea, constipation, headache, toothache, cravings, nausea, breast augmentation, hardening of the nipple, and insomnia. The labor pain symptom is commonly known as sympathy pain.
Couvade syndrome is not a recognized medical condition but it does exist. Some believe it to be a psychosomatic condition[1], while others believe it may have biological causes relating to hormone changes.

The term "couvade" is borrowed from French (where it is derived from the verb couver 'to brood, to hatch'); the use in the modern sense derives from a misunderstanding of an earlier idiom faire la couvade, which meant "to sit doing nothing."

[1] Masoni et al: The couvade syndrome in Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology - 1994

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