A father can never experience the constant discomfort as well as strange new physical sensations that a mother goes through during her pregnancy, and to make the men more empathic of their wives during the gestation period, Takayuki Kosaka has come up with the “Mommy Tummy” pregnancy suit. Basically, this suit will simulate nine months of weight gain, in addition to breast enlargement, having the feeling of a baby kicking you from within, so that you can have a taste of how physically challenging pregnancy can be.
Specially designed at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology (KAIT) in Atsugi, Japan, the suit is rather unsightly, as it does seem to look more like a flak jacket than anything else. There is a bladder in the belly that fills up with water so that it will simulate the growth and average weight of Japanese babies. The same kind of bladders located in the chest will simulate breasts getting filled with milk. A bunch of actuators that are strategically positioned will line up against the wearer’s stomach, firing randomly so that you know first hand how it feels for your kid to kick you in the gut.
Interestingly, you can rub the belly to soothe “baby” so that the kicking will stop. Kosaka and his team intends to see Mommy Tummy deployed in hospitals and community centers so that men can have a taste of how their wives feel. Too bad it can’t simulate hunger pangs and the pain of childbirth for the complete package, no?