Men really do suffer pregnancy symptoms in sympathy with their partners, a study has shown.
Fathers-to-be endure cramps, back pain, mood swings, food cravings, morning sickness, extreme tiredness, depression, irritability, fainting and toothache, researchers found.
Some even develop swollen stomachs that look like a "baby bump", according to the largest study of its kind in Britain. And the longer the pregnancy goes on, the worse men's symptoms get.
A group of 282 expectant fathers aged from 19 to 55 were monitored throughout their partners' pregnancies by specialists at St George's, University of London.
The findings were compared to a control group of 281 men whose partners were not pregnant. They experienced none of the symptoms.
Stomach cramps were the most common complaint.
Ah yes, Couvade Syndrome. Sympathy pains for a pregnant wife (or girlfriend or some sperm recipient; we’re cool if you’re cool, man). Experiencing pain for a partner and gaining weight for them have long been a part of urban mythology. It appears that some researchers in Merry Olde have proven that it exists. How do we feel about this? Yes, it’s adorable that he packed on 15 pounds of belly and that he feels nauseous in the mornings. His weird cravings and stomach cramps could even be seen as a sign of solidarity in some circles. But that weight is not coming off easily. And these guys seem like they could be a total liability in the delivery room if his sympathy pain gets out of hand. All in all, this trend is like keeping small dogs in purses, we can see the charm in it, it’s cute, but it is not something we’re terribly interested in seeing continue.