Making childbirth easier
January 19, 2011 6:13 AM   Subscribe

What is the term for the ritual in which men simultaneously enact childbirth in order to take away some of the pain their wives are undergoing?

While a woman is giving birth, her spouse is in the next room pretending to give birth. This is supposed to help him share the pain of childbirth.

I learned the term for this ritual at university in a folklore class. It was an extraordinarily useful word, but now I've forgotten it. Any idea what this ritual is called, and the name of a book or article which describes it? It might have been a French word, and it might have been a Papua New Guinean culture (though PNG is a safe guess for unusual cultural practices, so I might be mis-remembering this).
posted by tavegyl to Writing & Language (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:24 AM on January 19, 2011

Couvade syndrome? With rituals thrown in?
posted by fix at 6:27 AM on January 19, 2011

Exactly so. Thanks!
posted by tavegyl at 6:33 AM on January 19, 2011

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