Myth or Reality? Dads Have Pregnancy Pains

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Ah hah. So you thought that it was just your spouse who would gain weight and experience morning sickness, bloating and nausea. Guess you haven't yet heard about today's dad, who gets a taste of pregnancy as well.

Up to 65-percent of men with pregnant wives experience psychosomatic conditions of pregnancy-they gain weight, get back pain and sometimes even stomach spasms during birth.

The condition is called Couvade Syndrome. Men usually experience the most profound symptoms during the third and fourth month of pregnancy.

Experts give varying reasons as to why this happens. Some believe it's an expression of empathy. Others say it's an expression of anxiety. A few believe it's a form of rivalry-that men are trying to outdo their spouses, or even jealous.

Numerous studies have been conducted on this subject with varying outcomes. A group of Italian researchers examined Couvade in 1994. And could not confirm that it even exists.

An earlier 1991 study at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston found symptoms in men starting in the third month of pregnancy, and peaking late in the third trimester.

A third study confirmed Couvade is real, and even showed that it's more common in couples that have experienced issues with infertility.

Those who agree that Couvade is real and is being experienced by many men, also say that there's not much that can be done about it. There should be some comfort in knowing that Couvade symptoms do NOT worsen during labor and that they in fact go away once the baby is born.

For more articles on parenting and finance for fathers, visit Interactive DAD Magazine,, the FREE online magazine for fathers that's updated DAILY!

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