Bayo Ajibola

Your Partner has Pregnancy Symptoms Too

Men’s Pregnancy Symptoms. You could have sworn that the box of cookies you left in the kitchen last night was only missing 10 cookies, not 15! Next goes your ice cream and then your husband says that he has a killer backache and gets a little moody for no apparent reason.

He is the only culprit you can point a finger at for eating your snacks but why is feeling the exact way you are yet you are the pregnant one? Maybe the sweets were contaminated? Contaminated with hormones? Okay, that is crazy thinking right there. Another crazy thought could be that your husband is pregnant just like you are.

Freaky, isn’t it? 80 percent of men actually experience pregnancy symptomswhen their wives are expectant. It is known as Couvade syndrome or sympathetic pregnancy. Couvade is derived from the French word “couver” which means “to hatch”.  More serious symptoms of pregnancy will occur in only a small percentage of men.


Since it is ‘pregnancy’, the symptoms will be exactly the same as a pregnant woman though they may not experience all of them (bummer!). They include:

  •          An increase or decrease in appetite
  •          Backache
  •          Bloating
  •          Weight gain
  •          Constipation
  •          Toothaches
  •          Diarrhea
  •          Indigestion
  •          Depression
  •          Mood swings
  •          Lower libido
  •          Frequent headaches
  •          Difficulty sleeping
  •          Itchy skin

Doctors say that it usually begins towards the end of the first trimester. For most women this is when it hits home that the pregnancy is real. They symptoms actually get worse as time goes by and they are at their worst when you get to your third trimester.


There are no scientific or biological facts to prove the occurrence of this condition but some theories have been floated.

  •          It could be the man affirming that he is indeed the father (so no DNA test required here)
  •          Maybe he is anxious the birth of the baby and fatherhood
  •          He could be sympathizing or empathizing with you
  •          There is also a possibility that he is jealous that you get to carry the bundle of joy

None of these have scientific backing but there could be some truth in them. You are better placed to know what it is that could apply to your husband.


Unfortunately, the only way these symptoms (or pain and discomfort) are ending is when you finally give birth. No other cure is documented so he will just have to hang in there with you.

What to do

It can be a stressful time for both of you because it will be like having two pregnant women in the same house. You will have to buy double the amount of snacks (not the worst of your problems), he will also be able to give an excuse for not getting some stuff done and you might just have to take care of him yet you are the one who is really pregnant.

  •          Be patient with him as men are known to get very ‘weak’ whenever they are under the weather. You can actually handle it better than him because you are a woman.
  •          You can go for prenatal classes together so that he gets to understand what is going on inside you.
  •          Take some time to help each other relax because it is a stressful affair that can make both of you anxious. You will need to stay focused on the positive side of things so that you have a smooth pregnancy.
  •          By all means keep looking forward to the delivery date because his excuses will end then and the scales will be back to normal.

Bayo Ajibola

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