Will a New Invention Make Men More Sympathetic Towards Their Pregnant Wives?

Few things will ever surpass the joy of welcoming a child into this world. Yet, some of this joy can be depleted by the accompanying ailments – food cravings, ligament stretching, hormone changes, weight gain, loss of balance and over-active bladder just to name a few. Then, of course, you have the late pregnancy pelvic pressure as well as kicks to the ribs, the stomach and the pelvic area.

Men can never fully comprehend the changes that our bodies go through or the stress and discomfort those changes cause. A new invention, however, may help them gain just a little bit of empathy.

A device, appropriately named the ‘Mommy Tummy’ is designed to simulate many of body changes that come with pregnancy. While it falls short of mimicking the internal changes and discomforts like food cravings or hormone fluctuations, it does simulate things like weight gain, which comes with its own myriad of issues, and the sensation of a kicking baby.

Developed by Takayuki Kosaka of the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Astugi, Japan, the ‘Mommy Tummy’ contains internal bladders that fill up with water in both the belly and the breasts. Growth rate of the belly follows the average growth rate of a Japanese baby. Breast bladders are designed to simulate the development of breast milk and breast growth.

The ‘Mommy Tummy’ also contains actuators that are designed to simulate the kicking of a baby. While not internal, it will definitely give men an idea of what it feels like to be kicked in the stomach all day long – often at the most annoying times, like when trying to sleep at 3 am.

While I had probably one of the most compassionate husbands on the face of the planet with my two most recent pregnancies, I have also experienced a completely uncompassionate husband as well. It definitely would have been nice to have one of these around back then. Of course, I’m not too sure that a lot of men will agree to the device and, even if they do, it will definitely be interesting to see how they cope with the changes the device creates for pregnant women all over the world.

One flaw with the ‘Mommy Tummy,’ however, is that the device can be removed. I could imagine a lot of men taking it off when they aren’t at home or in the middle of the night. I can’t imagine that many men would stick it out 24/7 for an entire 9 months. Of course, that is just my opinion. I suppose, even if worn short term, it could still give men a pretty good idea of what we, as women, go through during pregnancy.

Overall, I think it is a great idea. Even if the husband only wore it for a short time period or only during one pregnancy, he might actually WANT to help more, offer a foot rub and not complain when he has to run to the store to meet a food craving at 2 am. Too bad the device can’t simulate child birth as well. Then again, it’s probably a good thing it doesn’t. I can’t imagine that any guy would sign up to wear it if labor pains were included.

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About the author


Kate Givans is a wife and a mother of five—four sons (one with autism) and a daughter. She’s an advocate for breastfeeding, women’s rights, against domestic violence, and equality for all. When not writing—be it creating her next romance novel or here on Growing Your Baby—Kate can be found discussing humanitarian issues, animal rights, eco-awareness, food, parenting, and her favorite books and shows on Twitter or Facebook. Laundry is the bane of her existence, but armed with a cup of coffee, she sometimes she gets it done.

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