Couvade syndrome is a condition in which the mate of a gestational female experiences symptoms typical of those experienced by a pregnant female. The condition derives its name from a medieval Basque tradition of allowing the male partner of a laboring woman to lie in bed and moan as the woman experienced labor pains, and to be waited on and allowed to convalesce for a considerable interval after the birth of the child. This Basque tradition is every bit as bizarre as couvade syndrome itself, but that's a topic for another blog on another day.
Couvade syndrome is generally considered by the medical community to be a psychosomatic condition, to which I would offer a resounding "Duh!!!" Some experts in the field have attempted to offer lame research involving cortisol levels and other variables to prove a physiological basis for this rather peculiar disorder. Such proponents do little other than display their savage misogyny. (Savage misogyny, is, by the way, my new favorite buzzword, and I plan to use it as often as possible whether it fits my topic of discussion or not.)
Seriously, other than the sympathetic weight gain, which can be explained away by either a husband eating becuase his wife is eating and there's lots of good stuff around to eat, or a husband feeling OK about putting weight on because his wife is doing the same, can you imagine anyone you know experiencing this condition for real? I for one find it hard to believe. I do, however, sense an idea brewing. we could have a celebration here at the facility commemorating odd psychosocial phenomena. If we do such a thing, my condition will be that of an hysterical pregnancy. I've long been fascinated by that particular phenomenon as well. Multiple personality disorder would be interesting as well, but with Sybil, The Three Faces of Eve, and plots from various daytime dramas and telenovelas, that one has been done to death.
I'll keep my loyal readers -- all four of them -- posted.