You may have never heard of what Couvade syndrome is, but it is a syndrome that affects men and that can certainly surprise you if you are not sure what it is about. Couvade Syndrome has to do with man and how this may have symptoms of pregnancy, and it seems that men can also develop nausea from the pregnancy , cravings, stomach pains and even breast pain during pregnancy their partners .
ORIGINS OF COUVADE SYNDROME
“De Couvade” comes from the word “couver”, which means “offspring” . In the medical world, Couvade syndrome is not an official disease, it is more of an interesting phenomenon. Although the doctors that the parents can also develop the symptoms of a pregnancy such as: weight gain, vomiting, heartburn, stomach pain, restlessness, toothaches, cramps … it is not known what may be the cause that really make them develop these symptoms typical of their pregnant partner.
Some doctors argue that weight gain is normal because if the mother changes her eating habits, so will the father. Vomiting in the morning can be because being around someone who vomits can also vomit and the rest of the symptoms can be caused by the stress of knowing that life will change when the baby is born and that they will become parents.
Couvade syndrome is also known as sympathetic pregnancy or phantom pregnancy and describes a situation in which a healthy man has a partner expecting their baby and this man begins to experience symptoms related to pregnancy.
While some research suggests that Couvade syndrome can be quite common in men, it is not a disease at all. More studies would be needed to determine if this syndrome could be a physical condition or if it is rather a syndrome with psychological causes , although there are no physical causes that could explain the development of symptoms so linked to the circumstances.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF COUVADE SYNDROME
The symptoms that are known for this Couvade syndrome vary widely from man to man and usually occur during the first and third trimesters of the couple’s pregnancy.
Physical symptoms can include nausea (also morning), heartburn, abdominal pain, bloating, appetite changes, breathing problems, aches, cramps, genital irritations, increased frequency of urination, constipation , etc.
These symptoms can include changes in sleep patterns, anxiety, depression, nervousness, decreased libido … etc. Knowing that they will soon become parents can make them feel too uncertain.
It is not really known if Couvade syndrome is real or not, but the truth is that the men that occur are closely linked emotionally with their pregnant partners. We cannot deny that being a parent is exciting but also very stressful.
If you are a man and your partner is pregnant, you will need to take steps to manage stress and prepare for parenthood. You can attend prenatal and childbirth classes with your partner. Seek advice and encouragement from friends and family, talk to your partner, and explain how you feel. You need to understand what is happening to you and plan together the challenges that can help you make a better transition to motherhood and fatherhood.
THEORIES ABOUT COUVADE SYNDROME
The explanation of Couvade syndrome depends on the perspective from which you look:
Psychoanalytic theory does not have scientific evidence, but we can know their opinion if we hear about it on another occasion. It proposes that Couvade syndrome evolves from the envy of men about the procreative capacity of women. There are theories that also propose that for the male partner , pregnancy acts as a catalyst for the emergence of ambivalence and oedipal conflicts. This syndrome can cause regression, it is a way to withdraw the feelings of childhood and the conflicts caused by the pregnancy of your partner, feelings that can be: rejection, exclusion, ambivalence, anxiety, passivity, dependence …
There is another psychoanalytic theory that says that expectant parents may view the unborn child as a rival for maternal care . This is expressed through a more socially acceptable outlet like the others and that is why it manifests itself with the syndrome. This interpretation suggests that the syndrome has a protective function for the man that helps him identify with his pregnant partner and thus strengthens his protective instinct towards his partner and towards the baby.
There is a theory of psychosocial origin that takes into account social circumstances and that focuses on the marginalization of men during the pregnancy and delivery of women. Especially in men who are going to have their first child. While motherhood is very important to women, it seems that fatherhood is not that important to men.
The fact that men cannot really give birth or have the experience of pregnancy, so that their role is somewhat more auxiliary and this makes men feel isolated from motherhood. To solve this it is necessary that the man also receive care during the pregnancy of his partner.
From this perspective, it is also suspected that it may be a consequence of fear, insecurity and anxiety that the idea of being parents can bring. Or it could even be related to the action of mirror neurons, those that make us yawn when we see someone yawning.
HOW TO CURE COUVADE SYNDROME
In most cases the symptoms go away on their own before the baby is born. Although there are studies that indicate that men with Couvade syndrome tend to take more medications during pregnancy. These medications that men take only help to improve the physical symptoms that they theoretically have , but they are not a form of treatment for the syndrome itself.
Couvade syndrome is not seen as a true medical problem. If from time to time men experience symptoms or pains, they will be medicated to relieve those pains but in no case does this syndrome endanger the life of the man who feels pregnant.
Although there are different theories and it is not really known why men feel the symptoms of their partner’s pregnancy, it may be a great emotional and empathetic connection with their pregnant woman and this is what makes him feel similar, but never the same. What you think?