Five Odd Symptoms Dads-To-Be Can Experience



Some months, back a friend and I were talking about the growing number of pregnant women around us. Everywhere, we turned, we bumped into a pregnant woman, some early stages, some obvious and guess what, she was pregnant too, only she didn’t know as at that time.

Do you know, who it was, who made it obvious, she was pregnant? Her 2 years old daughter, who was acting out in every way you can think, she was extra whinny, painfully clingy and all shades of the “joy,” which two-year-olds can bring when they are in the mood.

Another mom, whom, I hadn’t known was pregnant then suddenly developed a ravenous appetite. She was always eating and as this was the first pregnancy for her, I didn’t have the heart to tell her to stop. Infact, I have been aiding and abetting. When it’s time to lose the weight, we will talk about it.

Meanwhile, she’s not gaining as much weight as her husband is right now. He is out of shape and he knows it too. His diet hasn’t changed much, he claims but it doesn’t show on him. These days, he is gaining so much weight, always sweating profusely and looking tired like a pregnant woman.

For these two mamas, they are the ones pregnant, yet someone else is feeling the brunt; in their case;  daughter and husband.

While there is no name for the effects on the daughter, pregnancy symptoms in men are called Convade syndrome, a French term that roughly translates to “we’re pregnant.”  and it can show forth in different ways in men. We will look at some of the ways, it shows.

Besides, there is a local belief that it’s only men, who are deeply in love with their wives and are empathetic, who feel these symptoms but science say, about 90 percent of men go through this syndrome. Let’s see some of the symptoms:

 Piling on the weight…especially belly fat

A growing waistline is inevitable for a momma-to-be, but why is it that some men gain weight during their wife’s pregnancy?

Two reasons have been discovered; sympathetic snacking might be one factor, and the other is, the increased secretion of the stress hormone called cortisol.

Cortisol regulates insulin and blood-sugar levels so your body may think it’s hungry when it’s not. Plus, cortisol directs where you pile on the weight. Which most of the time, it’s in the stomach area.

But all hope is not lost, as adopting a healthier eating pattern and increasing your exercise routine can sort the belly out, as well as reduce stress.


Most of the symptoms of couvade syndrome do not seem to have clear cause, so it is often pinned down to nerves, while a few others just can’t be explained.

Studies have shown that men have consistently report toothaches, backaches, headaches, leg cramps, and other pains in various studies on sympathetic pregnancy.

Some men even report experiencing pains in the same places at the same times as their wives.  How it happens, scientists are still looking for answers.

Some daddies-to-be may be responding to subconscious feelings of competition (they might not be carrying a child, but they’re becoming a parent, too).

Whatever the case, talking about the changes, a child will bring is a better treatment than popping painkillers.

Sexual appetite

During pregnancy, a woman’s sex drive can either be up or shift into neutral and it can also do both in a matter of days.

Interestingly, when convade syndrome attacks a man, it can also cause his libido to swing erratically.

Forget that unproven theory that men are always ready, some fathers-to-be are turned on by the changes in a pregnant partner’s body, while others may find the changes, an overwhelming reminder of the responsibilities that a baby (ies) would bring.

On the other hand, some men find themselves energized by the prospect of having a baby, while others are exhausted just thinking about it. And some expectant parents are too scared about hurting the baby to even think about having sex.

Morning sickness

Now, here’s the picture I can’t get out of mind; of a man cowering over a toilet bowl, vomiting just because, his wife is pregnant. I’m just thinking of catching a man in that posture and being able to ask him, “Are you pregnant?” What joys.

Now, this something that this convade syndrome can cause to happen to a man, according to research. Apparently, morning sickness isn’t the exclusive to mornings (as some women have found out) or even or moms-to-be.

While  nausea is attributed to an uptick in a woman’s hormones during pregnancy, men’s nausea has nothing to do with hormones but plenty to do with the aforementioned anxiety as well as changes in diet, which are pretty common for men who eat to relieve stress.

What you can do? Get (or stay) physically active as a means to blow off steam, talk about what’s worrying you with your partner or a friend, eat right, and watch your alcohol intake.


Mommas know how easy it is to become anxious, well now,dads-to-be get to enjoy the ride, when their partners become pregnant. As a result, even the most manly man can experience restless nights, heartburn, and bouts of fatigue while their partners are pregnant.

Oddly enough, one study found that men who were either very distant from their own parents or who were very close were less likely to be stressed during their partner’s pregnancy — but those who fell in between were more anxious.

Reaching out to other expectant dads is a good way to reduce the anxiety. And don’t think you can turn off the nerves by shutting out the pregnancy. Being more involved can actually make you feel better prepared and in control.

Dads-to-be, just know that you are not alone, therefore, there is no shame involved, if you feel like you are having your own share of the pregnancy symptoms, just because your wife is pregnant.

You are good to go.



Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here

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