Can Men Get Pregnancy Cravings?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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It is very common for women to get food cravings during pregnancy. Can men get pregnancy cravings as well?

Overall, there is no scientific reason for men to get pregnancy cravings during their partner’s pregnancy, except as an empathetic response. There is no reason to worry about these cravings unless they are for non-food items.

Let’s discuss why dads might get pregnancy cravings and what to do about it!

Can Guys Get Pregnancy Cravings? When?

While there is not much research in this area, there have been instances when men have food cravings alongside their pregnant partners. This may begin once the pregnant woman begins to have a food craving, which is typically in the first and second trimesters. 

man eating burger

There is usually no reason to worry if a man has a pregnancy craving for a specific food, type of food, or food group. However, he should speak with a physician if he craves anything that is not food, such as dirt or soap.

Many stories on the internet about men experiencing pregnancy cravings are simply anecdotal. However, there are a few research studies on Couvade Syndrome, which is also known as “sympathetic pregnancy.”

Rather than an actual disease or disorder that is able to be diagnosed by doctors or other medical professionals, Couvade Syndrome refers to the physiological and psychological symptoms a man can experience when transitioning to parenthood (source: American Journal of Men’s Health).

These pregnancy-related symptoms can include food aversions, cravings, or taste alterations.

Research shows that the prevalence of Couvade Syndrome is related to empathy, hence the name “sympathetic pregnancy.”

A study of expectant fathers in Poland found that men who experienced higher rates of Couvade Syndrome typically were more emotionally sensitive or prone to distress (source: Medical Science Monitor: International Medical Journal of Experimental and Clinical Research). 

What to Do if Your Husband Has Pregnancy Cravings

As mentioned above, unless the craving is for a non-food item, men can safely indulge in cravings. However, if the common craving is for a particular food or type of food, try to incorporate as many nutrients as possible in order to obtain a balanced and healthy diet.

man eating spaghetti

For example, let’s say a man only craves spaghetti during his partner’s pregnancy. Incorporate whole grains by using wheat pasta, veggies such as broccoli and carrots, protein such as grilled chicken or turkey meatballs, and healthy fat such as a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.

Additionally, pair the spaghetti with a glass of milk or a non-dairy alternative for calcium and vitamin D. This way he can eat the food he craves while also getting the most nutrition possible. 

If your husband is craving non-food items, he should speak with a physician to rule out any underlying conditions. 

I hope this article was helpful in breaking down the facts about men’s pregnancy cravings.