Nick Lachey and Pregnant Dad Syndrome

Posted on May 11, 2012 | Blog Posts, Morning Sickness News Category | | Print This Article

Creative Commons License photo credit: joeltelling

Some women really struggle with the symptoms of pregnancy, such as morning sickness. Other women have an easier time of it. However, what you might not realize is that some dads actually wind up with a variety of symptoms that seem to be, in some way or another, triggered by their partner’s pregnancy. Case in point: the recent news that Nick Lachey has “pregnant dad syndrome.”

The singer, whose wife Vanessa is expecting, has experienced a number of “sympathy” symptoms during this time, including:

  • Cravings. In particular, he’s been craving chili rather than the stereotype of ice cream or pickles.
  • Bloating. This is not terribly common in a man in general, of course.
  • Feet pain. Lachey has actually asked his wife – his pregnant wife – to rub his feet.

Does it really happen?

Believe it or not, there are actually men that wind up experiencing some of the symptoms of pregnancy along with their partners. Obviously, it’s psycho-somatic; the man isn’t experiencing fluctuating levels of HCG that will cause him to have morning sickness, for example.

Yet, there have been studies that suggest around 5% of men will experience some pregnancy-like symptoms when their partner is pregnant, whether it’s something that their partner is experiencing or not.

In the case of the Lacheys, Nick has borne the brunt of pregnancy symptoms. His wife Vanessa has reported not having any morning sickness, cravings, or any of the other typical sorts of symptoms that women experience during pregnancy. At least, not to the degree that Nick is experiencing them.

How about your partner?

Why exactly a man would experience these symptoms isn’t clear, of course. It’s really hard to make any definite conclusions, if for no other reason than the fact that couples are very different from one another.

It’s not necessarily empathy that causes pregnant dad syndrome either. There’s no need to chide your partner about his insensitivity just because his areola haven’t darkened.

So, what do you think? Is this a genuine condition? Is it something that would make you feel better, knowing your spouse was going through some of the same stuff you were?

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