I was told some time ago that French have an expression for a man gaining weight while his wife/girlfriend is expecting a child (either out of solidarity or simply by being too stressed). But I forgot the expression (and never knew how to spell it). Your help will be appreciated.

1 Answer 1


I think you are searching for (le syndrome de la) "couvade".

Alors que leur partenaire est enceinte, certains pères éprouvent eux-mêmes des symptômes associés à la grossesse. Par exemple, ils ont des envies alimentaires particulières ou prennent du poids. Ces futurs papas éprouvent ce genre de symptômes d’empathie en réaction à la grossesse de leur partenaire. C’est ce qu’on appelle la « couvade ».



It is also known as "grossesse nerveuse de l'homme". Couvade is constructed from the verb couver i.e. to sit on (the eggs) etc (merci @Thélée_Lavoie for his feedback).


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