If Men Need A Pregnancy Suit To Be Sympathetic, They’ve Got Problems

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Takayuki Kosaka at Japan’s Kanagawa Institute of Technology has designed a way to clue men into what women feel like when they’re pregnant. A man can don the suit, pictured here, and within two minutes, the effect of pregnancy on the female body is artificially mimicked. You get the weight gain, the kicking baby, the engorged breasts, you name it.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

The suit vaguely resembles a bulletproof vest with extra storage space at the chest and stomach, which are so-called bladders that quickly fill with water to mimic the effect that pregnancy has on a female body, website Live Science reports. Mechanical devices in the tummy zone simulates the sensation of a kicking baby, which can be relieved by rubbing the suit’s belly.

And when used in classes, men are asked to do simple things while wearing the suit. Things like picking up a paper clip off the ground. Hilarity ensues. Media reports say that Kosaka designed the suit and hopes to see them used in hospitals and community centers in Japan so that men can increase their “visceral empathy towards their partners.”

I think the suit sounds really cool and I’d love to try it out even though I have been pregnant a few times. But I know that the suit would be a pale imitation of the actual experience. So if a man were wearing the suit, however cool it might be to simulate some shade of the experience, it wouldn’t come close to mimicking the actual work of pregnancy — the months of lost and uncomfortable sleep, the rearranging of your innards to fit a huge baby, the hormonal changes, the tiredness, the nausea, etc.

And I worry that a man might try on the suit and think “hey, that’s not so bad.” The thing is that a male partner needs to be sympathetic and supportive of his pregnant lady because of his moral outlook as opposed to the sudden Japanese-tech-induced realization that weight gain is difficult. Put another way, if a Mommy Tummy makes you more sympathetic to your Baby Momma’s plight, you’ve got problems.