"Mommy Tummy" Suit Gives Men a Chance to Feel Pregnant

By Veronique Greenwood | June 16, 2011 3:22 pm

For every expectant father who’s ever wished they, too, could feel a fetus kicking their bladder, science now has an answer. Researchers in Japan have put together a suit packed with balloons, sensors, and warm water so you can feel what it’s like to be pregnant.

The suit, called Mommy Tummy, mimics kicking with a system of 45 balloons that inflate and deflate, and movement sensors and accelerometers pick up on the wearer’s activities, so the “fetus,” represented by a four-liter bag of warm water, can respond to exercise or sudden movements with redoubled kicking. Vibrating actuators produce the illusion of wiggling, as New Scientist describes:

When two vibrating sources placed a distance apart move at the same time, it triggers a sensation in between the two points. So by varying vibrating pairs over time, the simulated fetus seems to squirm.

And, in a cool but somewhat unrealistic move, the scientists have hooked the suit up to a screen, so you can watch a simulation of the fetus’ response while you stroke your stomach or walk around. For the thrill-seekers out there, a 9-month pregnancy can be recapitulated in two minutes, or it can be spread out over a longer period for a more “natural” feel. The team, who will be presenting their work at the SIGGRAPH conference in Vancouver in August, hope that the suit will help men understand what it’s like to be pregnant.

That’s impressive design work. But what about that staple of early pregnancy, the pimple on the face of the miracle of life, morning sickness? Perhaps the scientists should explore a way to make suit-wearers as nauseous as after a bout of heavy drinking, and then deny them coffee, painkillers, and lunch meat.

(via New Scientist)

MORE ABOUT: pregnancy
  • Michelle

    The majority of US men already have a mommy tummy. More men are walking around out there with huge stomachs than women are. minus the kicking…but with gas, they probably have that sensation too.

  • Teni

    I would be more impressed by a device that would allow men to experience what it’s like to be in labour!

    • Joseph

      naw, if such a suit existed, you’d prefer a different suit, or, you would find some way to complain about it. 

    • Sand Mai

      Such a device exists.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000447612584 Joe Smith

      We have it, its called putting up with a wife

  • http://instintosensual.com FEROMONAS

    I have worn the mommy belly for an hour. Kudos to you women..hard work being pregnant.

  • Poodle_Slayer

    …really? Do tax dollars really need to be spent on this?

    • Common Sense.

       This is in Japan, idiot.

  • Penis Evny

    Seriously, only a woman would want someone to “Feel their pain”. This is stupid. How about you strap on a fake penis and testes, and have scientists hook up nerve endings and pain receptors to your CNS and I will kick you in the nuts as hard as I can so you can “Feel my pain”. Sound stupid doesnt it?! Its the same concept…Pointless!

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