Q&A: Could my daughter be experiencing sympathetic pregnancy symptoms?
Lately, my 2 year old daugther has been saying that her tummy hurts. She has no symptoms of being sick. She eats well and plays as usual. I'm wondering if she might be saying this because I'm 11 weeks pregnant and she hears telling my husband that I feel sick. (I'm resting a lot more and my husband is telling her that mommy doesn't feel good). Do children this young have the capability of pretending they are sick? Is this common? She is always asking me to take her to the doctor. Should I?
Yes, it is possible that your daughter’s “tummy ache” is related to yours as she identifies with you and what you are going through. But you are right not to jump to that conclusion until you are sure that there really isn’t anything medically wrong with her. A good appetite and normal behavior are reassuring. Any pain that wakes her up, causes vomiting, diarrhea or during urination obviously wouldn’t be. Nor would pain that interrupted her play or that was always in a very specific spot.
Even if all signs are that this isn’t a medical problem, you aren’t ever wrong for err on the side of caution and check it out with her doctor just to be sure. Although it may mean a doctor’s appointment just to hear that she is fine. (The younger the child, the more conservative we tend to be.)
After you are confident that her complaints are behavioral, you may want to bring her to your OB so that her belly can be “checked out” too. This may solve the issue (but only after you are convinced that nothing else is going on).