Every pregnant woman, at one point or another, has wished that her partner could feel exactly what it was like to be pregnant. The growing body, the swollen ankles, the internal movement. That they could understand labor and maybe, just maybe, admit that women are far superior. (Or at least experience the feeling of life on the inside, and having a second heart beat along with their own.)
That may be why there are so many pregnancy simulators out there designed with some of the most advanced technology by some of the most brilliant engineers. (Of course teen pregnancy prevention and medical training are mainly the reasons for these simulators.)
After looking through these 10 pregnancy simulators, you’ll realize that all of the technology in the world can’t replicate the exact pregnancy experience.
Mommy Tummy 8.0 1 of 10This high-tech simulator went to extremes so that men could feel what a pregnant body is really like — complete with water bags, rubber inflatable balloons, vibrators and touch sensors to simulate the weight, movement and "overall experience" of pregnancy.
While it's inarguably a high-tech simulator, where's the nausea? And the itchy stomach? And the cravings? And the ribcage jabs? And the....etc., etc., etc.?
See a video of the Mommy Tummy here.
Electrodes 2 of 10In case you missed this British documentary circulating around the Web, this man straps on electrodes to simulate the feeling of labor. And by labor, they mean contractions. There's no pushing, no nausea, no back pain. While contractions aren't fun, they're just one component of labor, and a tiny fraction of pregnancy.
Watch the amusing video here.
Empathy Belly 3 of 10The Empathy Belly pregnancy simulator (targeted more at teenagers than men, we think) is a "medically accurate simulation" designed to replicate over 20 pregnancy symptoms, such as weight gain (30 pounds), fetal kicking, shortness of breath, increased blood pressure, bladder pressure, backaches, and fatigue. Yet there's something very different about strapping on a 30-lb. suit than gradually feeling the life inside of you move and grow. Seems like a good scare tactic though.
Read more about The Empathy Belly.
Close Comparisons? 4 of 10Stuffing a watermelon under your shirt does not a pregnancy make. (For the record, this watermelon is just a photo prop, not a pregnancy simulation.)
Photo: Kimberly G Photography
Realityworks Pregnancy Simulator 5 of 10Here's another pregnancy vest that simulates the third trimester (weighing up to 25 pounds). It comes with an adjustable ribcage constrictor, as well as a refillable water bladder with suspended weight (to simulate light fetal movement).
Read more at Realityworks.
Strap-On Padding 6 of 10Remember when Uncle Jesse strapped on one of those pads that you find in the maternity store dressing room? And he couldn't last a day?
See the clip on YouTube at the 3:16 mark. You know you want to.
Homemade Simulators 7 of 10This homemade simulation idea involves balloons, water and a belt. Your water breaking will not be anything like a popped balloon.
See the tutorial at Mpreg Channel.
Pregnant Robot 8 of 10NOELLE is the pregnant robot that made history by providing teaching opportunities that didn't risk actual lives. While this isn't something that the average Joe would use (considering it's a $20,000 piece of medical equipment), it's probably the best birth simulator that there is — minus that whole living, breathing aspect.
Read more at MSNBC.
Ice Cubes 9 of 10Pregnant women (and even non-pregnant women) often wonder if they can actually handle the pain of natural childbirth. How does someone prepare for that kind of pain management without actually hurting themselves? One of the most common suggestions is to hold ice cubes in your hand for as long as possible, to give you an idea of your pain threshold and to practice your pain management tricks. Yet the pain is unquestionably, incomparably different. For the record: I made it through a 20+ hour natural birth. I couldn't last 5 minutes with an ice cube in my hand.
Labor Scenes 10 of 10After I gave birth, I saw labor scenes on every channel and in every movie. And I wanted to throw my shoe at the screen every time. Overly dramatic, wildly inaccurate and, frankly, quite scary — don't look to TV for an accurate portrayal.
Watch the FRIENDS clip on YouTube. Or better yet, don't.