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Sympathy Pregnancy — or Even Sympathy Contractions?

Is your husband experiencing pregnancy right along with you?

Recently a Babble Pregnancy writer published an article about sympathy pregnancy, or Couvade syndrome. The article explains what Couvade syndrome is:

Couvade syndrome, otherwise known as a man’s “sympathetic pregnancy,” mirrors the common symptoms of a mom’s gestation: nausea, food cravings, back aches, weight gain, and sleep problems. The condition, the name of which derives from the French verb couver, or “to hatch,” was first mentioned by anthropologists who noted that in many cultures around the world, expecting dads go through certain rituals, mental states, and behaviors that copy those of their pregnant wives.

I know my husband is very protective of me and my health — especially while I’m pregnant. He’s never had sympathy morning sickness, though (thank goodness). He has, however, experienced another form of sympathy pregnancy pains — one very strong contraction!

During the labor of our first-born child my labor was progressing nicely along and when I was nearing transition he helped me readjust my position. I had my arms around his neck, facing him, and he had his arms wrapped around me to help me stand and move to another room in the house. When a strong contraction hit, he felt it ALL. Hit the floor.

I may or may not have laughed at him. We’ve never had that experience again but I have to admit, it was kind of nice to see him suffer just one contraction for me. He didn’t feel it in his stomach but in his back — which is where the bulk of pain was for me as well.

We still laugh about it sometimes. I always remind him that he only had ONE and wound up on the floor so he better not mess with me; I’m tougher than I look. He agrees.

Our midwife said she’d seen it before — sometimes the men would be in pain through the entire labor. Thankfully my husband got off the floor and back to supporting me through the rest of the labor.

He’s never experienced weight gain or pregnancy cravings though. We had a friend who craved pickle juice during his wife’s pregnancy and he had never liked pickles. So funny!

Has your husband experienced any pregnancy symptoms alongside you? Sympathy labor pains? Cravings? Morning sickness?

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