Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dads get "pregnant," too

…Men joke about how there would be no people if men had to give birth (probably true), but many men actually do experience some symptoms of pregnancy.

…The French dubbed it “couvade syndrome,” from the French for hatch, which is couver.

…In a Canadian study, 34 couples from childbirth classes were hormone-tested, before the birth and after.

…The researchers came to the couple’s house, took the two in the kitchen immediately and drew blood from both.

…Then they handed each a soft doll wrapped in a blanket with baby scent on it (from a hosp nursery). As they two held the “babies,” tapes played of unconsoled crying and then a 7-minute video of a a newborn trying to nurse, while the teary-eyed Dad watched.

…If either put the doll down, this was noted.

…After 30 minutes, more blood was drawn.

…Men were asked about any symptoms they had been having. Two or more meant men had couvade.

…Basically, the men and women had similar rises and falls in hormones.

…Men with more pregnancy symptoms had higher prolactin levels and greater drop in testosterone.

…Men with positive feelings about being a Dad experienced the most marked changes, which included mood swings, weight gain, cravings, headache or toothache.

…Are these changes necessary to be a good Dad? Of course, not!

…Adoptive fathers or men who don’t gain weight or chow down on gherkin sundaes make fine Dads.

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