Couvade Syndrome

There are lots of people in this world, especially kids, who just refuse to eat vegetables and fruits. Even I myself refused to eat onions, carrots, brinjal and other green vegetables when I was young. But I notice that now I eat these vegies with no complain whatsoever at all. Amazing, isn’t it? How our taste buds become accomodated to various kinds of tastes?

While kalpana, kasturi and me were talking while walking towards the mrt station, we were discussing about how the man’s and the woman’s bodies detect each ohers’ signals during pregnancy. Men also experience all the symptoms of the pregnancy (weight gain, morning sickness, appetite changes), that a woman goes through. This is called the Couvade Syndrome.

Today during Bio lecture, we saw a video about the after-events of the fusion of the sperm and the egg. When this happens, the mother experiences some of the symptoms of pregnancy. And so does the father, sometimes.

No one really knows why men get these symptoms but there are lots of theories. The first is that as men, we’re programmed (socially or biologically, take your pick) to try to protect our families and shield them from harm. Since we can’t really do much to minimize the discomfort and pain our wives experience during pregnancy, our brains come up with the unique idea of trying to ease their pain by taking some of it on ourselves. This is particularly true for expectant dads who feel somehow responsible for having “gotten her into this in the first place.”

Another theory is that some expectant dads who develop couvade are feeling jealous and left out and are subconsciously trying to get people to pay a little attention to them. It’s also possible that expectant dads’ physical symptoms are a kind of way announcing to the world that they’re the father.

Some recent research has shown that there may actually be some hormonal reasons for men’s pregnancy symptoms. You know all about how expectant mothers’ hormones change over the course of the pregnancy, right?

Well, one fascinating study found that pregnant women’s husbands’ levels of the same hormones (which men have too, but in smaller amounts) move, rise and fall parallel with their wives’ levels. This may explain why most expectant dads find themselves paying more attention to children in the months before their own are born.

Some psychologists have also speculated that couvade symptoms may be the expectant dad’s subconscious way of showing his wife that he’s serious about being with her. After all, it’s easy to lie about loving her and wanting to be a good dad, but it’s a lot harder to fake a cyst or a nosebleed.

Very interesting isn’t it? So afterall, the fact that men also feel mutual emotions together with their wives show how much they are in love and how much committed they are. However, not every men go through this, and this doesn’t mean that they lack love or commitment in their relationship.

I’m going to mug a lot tomorrow and enjoy a family outing on Sunday… See ya…

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