“From exhaustion to bladder discomfort to lack of sleep, pregnant women endure an array of aches and pains on the path that culminates with childbirth. If only a man could even begin to understand what it was like. Well, now three guys are trying to do just that,” reports Joanna Prisco for Good Morning America:
In an effort to pay tribute to the challenges of pregnancy as well as to their wives and mothers, three men have decided to wear 33-pound 'empathy bellies' for one month straight in the run up to March 15, 2015 when Mother's Day is celebrated in England. To spread awareness of their plight, the men are sharing the ups and downs of the experiment with readers on a site titled, appropriately enough, Three Pregnant Dads.
Three Brits—Jason Bramley, Steve Hanson and Jonny Biggins—have agreed to wear the pregnancy simulation suits 24/7 for a full month, the only exceptions being when they shower.
The suits are designed to simulate not only the shape and weight of a full term pregnant belly, but also the pull on the back and shoulders, the pressure on the bladder and diaphragm, and even provide the sensation of the constant movement, digs and jabs of a full term fetus.
In addition to wearing the suit 24/7, the men have agreed to keep a video diary and a written daily journal of their great experiment.
Many have expressed support for the experiment and have lauded the “Three Pregnant Dads” for their willingness and desire to empathize with their wives’ experience, others have found the entire idea freakish and weird.
One reader felt the project undermined a father's traditional role. "Men already have roles during pregnancy and after the birth of their children. This is just another example of the anti-male, anti-Fatherhood agenda at work in society nowadays."
Clearly fathers and mothers have very distinctive roles in the process of childbearing and child rearing. A good dose of empathy and understanding, however, is hardly a bad thing. Isn’t that what we long for—someone to understand how we feel?
Kudos to Bramley, Hanson and Biggins as they boldly go where no man has gone before!
“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind” (1 Peter 3:8).
“Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).