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originally posted by: ChiefD
a reply to: Skid Mark
Now I've heard of sympathy pains, but sympathy morning sickness?
I think your brother must be very attuned with his wife's emotions and that. I think it's possible. Not probable, but somewhat possible.
They're suffering from couvade syndrome. In this condition, sometimes called sympathetic pregnancy, the expectant mother's partner (or, in some cases, a very close friend or relative) has symptoms that uncannily mimic pregnancy.
If you're dealing with couvade in your household, we can point you to two likely suspects: stress and empathy. According to Duerbeck, stress releases chemicals in the body that can manifest as sympathetic pregnancy. And let's face it, with financial worries, health concerns, and good old-fashioned cold feet, pregnancy is often stressful for both parties. Add a little empathy to the mix, and you have a perfect recipe for couvade.
Although men may not talk about it much, these symptoms are not uncommon. In fact, Duerbeck automatically expects to see couvade syndrome in certain situations. Couples who have dealt with infertility or pregnancy loss, for example, are particularly susceptible.