Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend has ‘sympathy cravings’—and science says they’re real

Tristan Thompson isn’t alone in gaining a few pregnancy sympathy pounds. 

Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend has ‘sympathy cravings’—and science says they’re real

Khloe Kardashian is the pregnant one, but boyfriend Tristan Thompson is glad to indulge his own “expectant parent” cravings, the Keeping up With the Kardashians star told Ellen DeGeneres this week.

“They say that men take on sympathy cravings, or pregnancy or whatever," Kardashian says, adding her NBA player boyfriend is devouring Jamaican food and chocolate chip cookies like he’s the one growing a baby. “I swear he's milking it for all he can... It's just an excuse.”

Those sympathy cravings are real, though—with one study finding up to 80% of expectant fathers experience symptoms or cravings common in pregnancy. Called “couvade” among experts, the feelings can extend from everything to cravings to actual pains.

Says biology professor Katherine E. Wynne-Edwards in an article for Scientific American, “A large number of mental health professionals have considered a range of hypotheses—from jealousy about a man's inability to carry a child to guilt over having caused this transformation in his partner to selfish attention seeking—as the root causes of couvade.”

Or, she continues, the explanation could be as simple as the partner coming to crave the meals the expectant mother is already indulging. Because who among us can resist chocolate chip cookies if the smell is wafting from the kitchen?

As for Kardashian, she says she has zero complaints about Thompson’s role in her pregnancy otherwise.

“He's really a dream and I feel just really lucky. It's really surreal to me,” she tells DeGeneres, adding she hopes to marry him someday—but isn’t in a rush this time. “As you know, I've rushed quite a few things before, so right now I'm so loving the place I am in my life and I'm just happy with how things are going. We talk about it, for sure, but we're both just happy where we are. What's meant to be will be.”

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

For now, the couple is focusing their attention on the upcoming arrival of their baby–even though Kardashian is still resisting the siren song of stretchy pants.

“Hopefully I look pregnant, not just fat, so people realize if I don't feel well or tired or whatever. It's hard for me to breathe right now, but other than that I'm good,” says Kardashian, who marked the six-months milestone with a stylish Instagram photo this week. “I'm going to try to not wear maternity clothes as long as possible.”

She also waited as long as possible to publicly share the pregnancy news, which she explains was her way of enjoying the secret with her friends and family.

“I've wanted to have a baby for so long and it's just the perfect timing in my eyes,” she says. “God always has His plan and I just wanted to do it on my time and when I felt comfortable to do so.”

That’s such a sweet point—although we’ve got to admit we’re happy she’s now sharing the pregnancy journey with us.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.


I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

Keep reading Show less

I never wanted to be a mom. It wasn't something I ever thought would happen until I fell madly in love with my husband—who knew very well he wanted children. While he was a natural at entertaining our nephews or our friends' kids, I would awkwardly try to interact with them, not really knowing what to say or do.

Our first pregnancy was a surprise, a much-wanted one but also a unicorn, "first try" kind of pregnancy. As my belly grew bigger, so did my insecurities. How do you even mom when you never saw motherhood in your future? I focused all my uncertainties on coming up with a plan for the delivery of my baby—which proved to be a terrible idea when my dreamed-of unmedicated vaginal birth turned into an emergency C-section. I couldn't even start motherhood the way I wanted, I thought. And that feeling happened again when I couldn't breastfeed and instead had to pump and bottle-feed. And once more, when all the stress from things not going my way turned into debilitating postpartum anxiety that left me not really enjoying my brand new baby.

As my baby grew, slowly so did my confidence that I could do this. When he would tumble to the ground while learning how to walk and only my hugs could calm him, I felt invincible. But on the nights he wouldn't sleep—whether because he was going through a regression, a leap, a teeth eruption or just a full moon—I would break down in tears to my husband telling him that he was a better parent than me.

Then I found out I was pregnant again, and that this time it was twins. I panicked. I really cannot do two babies at the same time. I kept repeating that to myself (and to my poor husband) at every single appointment we had because I was just terrified. He, of course, thought I could absolutely do it, and he got me through a very hard pregnancy.

When the twins were born at full term and just as big as singleton babies, I still felt inadequate, despite the monumental effort I had made to grow these healthy babies and go through a repeat C-section to make sure they were both okay. I still felt my skin crawl when they cried and thought, What if I can't calm them down? I still turned to my husband for diaper changes because I wasn't a good enough mom for twins.

My husband reminded me (and still does) that I am exactly what my babies need. That I am enough. A phrase that has now become my mantra, both in motherhood and beyond, because as my husband likes to say, I'm the queen of selling myself short on everything.

So when my babies start crying, I tell myself that I am enough to calm them down.

When my toddler has a tantrum, I remind myself that I am enough to get through to him.

When I go out with the three kids by myself and start sweating about everything that could go wrong (poop explosions times three), I remind myself that I am enough to handle it all, even with a little humor.

And then one day I found this bracelet. Initially, I thought how cheesy it'd be to wear a reminder like this on my wrist, but I bought it anyway because something about it was calling my name. I'm so glad I did because since day one I haven't stopped wearing it.

Every time I look down, there it is, shining back at me. I am enough.

I Am Enough bracelet 

SONTAKEY  I Am Enough Bracelet

May this Oath Bracelet be your reminder that you are perfect just the way you are. That you are enough for your children, you are enough for your friends & family, you are enough for everything that you do. You are enough, mama <3


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

Keep reading Show less