If you're pregnant, you've probably been experiencing a fair amount of discomfort between morning sickness in the first trimester to the pain of carrying all the extra weight that comes later on in your pregnancy. You've also likely wished that your partner could experience what you're feeling, even if only for a few minutes, to better understand what you're going through.
However, there is one man who may have a slight idea of what it's like to be pregnant. Benjamin Percy, a writer for GQ magazine, recently penned an article for the news source about his experience spending nine weeks wearing a pregnancy simulation suit.
Hot, clumsy and uncomfortable
Percy wore a pregnancy suit created by by the Kanagawa Institute of Technology in Japan. There, researchers crafted a suit that will simulate the experience of being nine months pregnant. From the very beginning, Percy learned that there are many issues that come with being nine months pregnant, and that even getting around the home can become a difficult task once your belly has expanded.
"At first it feels cumbersome, parasitic. I knock into walls, tables, doorways. I cannot fit it under my clothes, so I wear it on the outside, my torso green and rounded, turtled ... I mow the lawn in my pregnancy suit. I chop wood in my pregnancy suit. I read the newspaper in my pregnancy suit and rest a steaming mug of coffee on the belly. I sweat in the pregnancy suit - horribly - and I develop a rash and begin to smell fungal," Percy wrote for GQ.
Percy was expecting the women in his life to praise his efforts to experience their discomfort, but instead many of them pointed out that the suit is not as close to the real thing as he may think. First, nine weeks is nothing compared to the length of a real pregnancy. Furthermore, Percy said that one of his friends pointed out that the suit could simulate the shape and weight associated with pregnancy, but not the extra breast weight, itchy skin, swollen ankles and constant need to use the restroom that often occurs.
After his nine weeks, he traveled to Japan to try the researchers newer version of the pregnancy suit, which offered even more of the experience of pregnancy, such as the feeling of having the baby kick. In the end, Percy concluded that pregnancy (and being a woman in general) can be extremely difficult.
What can men do?
Yahoo! Voices has some suggestions for what men can do to support their wives during pregnancy. For example, the news source recommended that partners massage their wives or girlfriends regularly while they are expecting, particularly their lower back and stomach. Also, men should take on more responsibility during their partners' pregnancies. This may mean picking up the slack on the chores, and lending an extra hand if there are other children that need to be taken care of. Furthermore, Yahoo! added that now is not the time for men to let their pregnant partner worry, which is why they should always answer anytime they call or respond to text messages throughout the day.
Finally, communication is key during pregnancy, and partners should ask their wives or girlfriends what they need from they during this stressful time. Even things that seem trivial, such as cooking dinner or renting a movie, can go a long way in helping a pregnant woman feel comfortable.
Has your husband or partner been doing anything special for you during your pregnancy? Discuss them here!