'Mommy Tummy' suit mimics pregnancy for men
No birthing class or baby book can make men truly understand the discomfort that pregnancy can bring -- the nausea, swollen ankles and desire to gorge on salami and vanilla ice cream (at the same time).
But for men who want a taste of maternity, there's the "Mommy Tummy" pregnancy suit.
Designed at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Japan by Takayuki Kosaka, the suit mimics nine months of pregnancy -- the drastic weight gain, kicking, enlarged breasts and change in balance -- in about two minutes, cluing males in to what women feel while they're with child.
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.
According to Live Science, Kosaka hopes to bring the suit to hospitals and community centers in Japan so men can increase their "visceral empathy towards their partners." During pregnancy classes, the guys will be asked to perform ordinary tasks, such as picking up something off the ground, while strapped into the mommy suit.
Empathy to follow?
-- Shan Li
Photo: The Mommy Tummy pregnancy suit. Credit: Michelle Higa / Live Science