When I just asked my husband if he would ever don a great big heavy pregnancy stimulating suit, his answer was, “uhh, I’ll pass.” It’s not that he isn’t empathic. He didn’t drink any alcoholic beverages while I was pregnant in camaraderie, would rub my aching feet, and would faithfully make sure our fridge was stocked with the gallons of whole milk (organic from Strauss Daily), pomegranate and blueberry juice, and Yoplait Whips (strawberry) that I craved during my pregnancy. But it turns out not all men are as sympathetic to a woman’s needs and ‘condition’ when she is caring their babies. Enter the Mommy Tummy Pregnancy Suit.
At the SIGGRAPH 2011 interactive technology conference Takayuki Kosaka showed off his Mommy Tummy Pregnancy Suit developed by the Kanagawa Institute – a device that lets a man “truly appreciate the constant discomfort and odd physical sensations of being pregnant.” The suit stimulates “nine months of weight gain, breast enlargement, baby kicking and balance changes in just over two minutes” -basically the physical stuff, hormonal shifts not included.
The purpose of the suit is to give men a more “visceral empathy” towards the mother of their child. While wearing the suit men are asked to do a variety of tasks in order to feel what it is like to do normal everyday things. The team hopes that the suits will be present in hospitals and community centers for men to try out and to get a sense what their partners are dealing with.
Do you think many men would rush at the chance to wear one?