I was driving by Cold Stone Creamery yesterday, having fond memories of my unlimited ice cream intake when I was pregnant. It was so fun to have permission to indulge in all things sweet and salty, and it was something my husband and I definitely bonded over.
I remember my husband saying on more than one occasion, “Marlene, are you craving ice cream?” That was code for, Steve was craving ice cream and wanted my permission to go get us some for both of us. Those were the days!
Obviously there is no denying that the woman bears the brunt of pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean that men aren’t effected. Nausea, backaches and weight gain are all symptoms that men can have during their partner’s pregnancy.
It’s called Couvade Syndrome, from the French verb “to hatch”. It’s actually very common and causes men to mimic the physical changes of their pregnant partners. According to the 2007 paper in the Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, more than a quarter of US dads-to-be report having at least one pregnancy-related symptom.
These symptoms are caused by a surge in the hormone prolactin, which can cause queasiness, weight gain in the belly, and even labor pains!
I don’t know if it was the prolactin or the loads of ice cream that caused my husband to gain weight during my pregnancy, but I secretly appreciated his joining me along for the ride in some way.
If I were pregnant now, we would certainly be sharing some Cold Stone and my Ritmo. If Steve were going to gain weight, then it would only be fair that he have access to our Ritmo play list.