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Robin Elise Weiss, LCCE

Men Simulating Pregnancy

By February 19, 2013

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Did anyone happen to catch the piece that aired the other morning on the Today Show about the man who wore the empathy belly for 9 weeks? For a bit of background, an Empathy Belly is designed to simulate pregnancy through a variety of means, all encased in a front version of a back pack like device, complete with breasts. Their website claims it does all of this:

  • Weight gain of 30 pounds (13.6 kg.)
  • Fetal kicking and stroking movements
  • Shallow breathing and shortness of breath
  • Increased blood pressure, pulse and body temperature
  • Bladder pressure and frequency of urination
  • Low backaches; shift in center of gravity; waddling
  • Fatigue, irritability, and much, much more!

Pregnant man and woman

My husband has certainly tried one on for a few hours as a part of our childbirth class. He's even tried getting up off his back and tying his shoes. It's a neat gesture, but after having eight kids, I can tell you, this is no third trimester. I don't even know how it can raise your blood pressure. The fetal movement is sort of neat but much more muted than a real pregnancy (And that's the fun part!). I think the funniest part was when my husband kept trying to move the part of the suit that sat on his bladder, because it made him feel like he had to pee all the time. Duh, that's the point.

Either way, I think it's a neat if imperfect gesture to understand what pregnancy feels like. What are your thoughts? Would you like for your partner to try this type of exercise, even if only for an hour? Which pregnancy symptom would you like to give to your partner?


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Photo Lifesize/Getty Images

February 19, 2013 at 11:57 am
(1) Carey says:

If a guy is a good sport and up for it, I think this is a fun exercise to try for a couple of hours. Though, to get a real sense they also need something to imitate morning sickness!

February 19, 2013 at 12:36 pm
(2) pregnancy says:

Truly! That is such an annoying symptom.

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