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Men Get Pregnant Too! Kind Of…

By Monica Bielanko |

My husband and our daughter, Violet.

The other day my husband and I were talking about something I’d read somewhere, a statistic of men who gain weight during pregnancy. We laughed because Serge gained a bit of “sympathy weight” right along with me during my pregnancy with Henry.

I’m sure if it were the other way around and dudes got pregnant I’d be fatter than expectant fathers because, man, do I love me any excuse to eat. I gained a lot of weight during both pregnancies. Fifty and sixty pounds, respectively. Much of it was due to constantly having to eat to keep the morning sickness at bay but also? Mama just loved her some fish burritos. And hamburgers. And french fries. And Doritos.

Anyway, I’m losing the plot a bit here. What I’m saying is men apparently pack on the pounds and experience a whole other host of pregnancy-like symptoms. As Eric Barker of reports,about half of all expectant dads gain weight—up to 30 pounds—during their partners’ pregnancies.

Dads can also experience nausea, cravings, mood swings, sleep problems and they can feel really tired. Just like women the symptoms occur in the first trimester, ease off during the second and come back in the third. Or, as Ceridwen Morris said, “Goodbye morning wood, hello morning sickness“.

Isn’t that wild?

As Barker writes “this is not just some trend among modern, metrosexual Mr. Sensitive types…   It’s a bona-fide biological reaction to incipient fatherhood, long hush-hushed because real men, supposedly, don’t get morning sickness. If you want me to get all scientific on y’all it’s called the Couvade Syndrome, which Rebecca Odes wrote about here in a lot better detail.

Apparently it all has to do with a hormone called prolactin. If your fella has soaring levels of prolactin and experiences irritating pregnancy-like symptoms there is some good news. Fathers with a significantly higher level of prolactin tend to be more attached to their newborns and more responsive to the babies’ demands than men with lower levels.

So tell me, did your husband experience any pregnancy-like symptoms? Details, please!

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About Monica Bielanko


Monica Bielanko

Monica Bielanko was raised on the wild frontier of late 1970's Utah. She is a recovering Mormon who married the guitar player of an unknown band. She's been married to her Babble Voices writing partner, Serge Bielanko, for the past nine years. Her personal blog, The Girl Who was in the top ten of last year's Top 50 list. Read bio and latest posts → Read Monica's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Men Get Pregnant Too! Kind Of…

  1. Mick E says:

    Yes, men gain weight during wife’s pregnancy. My kids, I reckon caused me to gain weight, I’ve been trying to lose the weight, but it keeps finding me. Excellent thing I found some excellent free calculators for BMI, BMR,Lean Mass – LBM, and Calories Burned at Now I dial in my stats get how many calories I’m using and adjust my diet to that amout of calories. Hopefully I can gain weight. But not huge on stout free! :)

  2. Amanda says:

    Oh my goodness yes its true! My husband hasn’t gained the weight because he has been specifically trying to loose the weight, otherwise he probably would be! But he has mood swings, TONS of cravings (maybe more than I have had) enough so that he even laughs and says he’s more pregnant than me and since being in the 3rd trimester (I am 34 weeks) he can’t sleep at night either, and it is getting worse as my sleeping worsens! Isn’t it just crazy!!!

  3. KERRI says:

    Some men do have pregnancy sympathy symptoms for their pregnant partners. My husband had cravings, gained weight and was fatigued when I was pregnant.

  4. Tina says:

    yeah my husband gained weight with BOTH my pregnancies….gained more than I did, and has never lost it…now what?? He also has just as many stretch marks too, but yet, I am the one who had the babies… I just dont know… nor do i like it. Since I’ve lost 90% of my weight…

  5. Justin says:

    Great Article!!! My name is Justin and I’m a new father to be, I realized there’s not that many useful resources for men’s pregnancy resources for real men, not meathead macho type a’s, so here’s mine

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