Men and Morning Sickness

Posted on Dec 12, 2011 | Morning Sickness News Category | | Print This Article

Creative Commons License photo credit: jon smith.

We’ve all heard about men having pregnancy symptoms alongside his partner. Usually, such discussion is the premise of a sitcom on television. Yet, believe it or not, there may be a built-in factor in men’s physiology that can create a number of pregnancy-like symptoms – including morning sickness – when a man’s partner is pregnant.

Half of men gain weight

One of the most startling facts is that about half of men whose partners are expecting will gain weight during their partner’s pregnancy. According to the Wall Street Journal , they can gain as much as 30 pounds when their spouse is pregnant.

While women expect to gain weight during pregnancy – in fact, a woman should usually gain some weight during pregnancy, even if she’s overweight to begin with – men may not know that it’s coming.

Other pregnancy symptoms

There are other pregnancy-like symptoms that some men can expect during their partner’s pregnancy, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Aversion to odors
  • Morning sickness

What’s interesting about men’s pregnancy symptoms is that they tend to happen during the first and third trimesters.

A biological reason

This isn’t just some trend because men are somehow more sensitive today than they were, let’s say, 50 years ago. Research looked at the hormone prolactin, which rises for women while they’re pregnant. Prolactin slows the body and keeps fats and sugars from being metabolized as easily.

Prolactin is also known to release opioids, which are a type of pleasure hormones. These tend to make you more emotional and sensitive overall.

For men, the presence of prolactin tends to lessen libido, as well.

Research showed that many men had higher-than-normal levels of prolactin during their partner’s pregnancy. This led to men experiencing pregnancy symptoms on a couple of levels. First, expectant dads were more likely to be in sync with his partner’s state during pregnancy. This leads to even more prolactin production.

High prolactin levels in men also made them more likely to gain weight and experience morning sickness.

So, what do you think? Did your partner experience any pregnancy sympathy symptoms? If so, which ones?

  • Thomas A C Tan

    The experience shared to me was this man was doing his morning marketing.
    he felt a familiar morning sickness feeling that he felt when his wife was
    pregnant with the first child.
    He called his wife on the cell phone and said
    she was pregnant.
    She went for a check and was confirmed pregnant.

    I can accept that the man can have morning sickness after learning that his wife
    was pregnant due to perhaps psychological reasons.

    However, where is the connection when the wife did not know and he knew first?

  • Thomas A C Tan

    The wife did not have any morning sickness throughout the
    pregnancy if I recalled correctly.

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