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Men attempt to experience the pain of labor
by Missy Jaramillo
Childbirth is many things - rewarding, exiting, emotional and, unfortunately, it's usually quite painful. While any woman who has given birth is all too aware of this fact, many men may not understand exactly how difficult this process can be. Men who have been in the delivery room with their partners have seen the difficultly of pregnancy first hand, but they still can't fully grasp what it feels like to have a child. However, there may be some men out there who do understand what it feels like to have a baby - two Dutch television hosts, Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno of the show "Guinea Pigs."
According to ABC News, these two TV starts recently went through great lengths in order to attempt to understand what women experience when they give birth.
In order to understand what a woman experiences during childbirth, Storm and Zeno hooked themselves up to a machine and had electrodes stuck to their abdomens to simulate labor pains. To make sure that they got the full experience, the contractions they felt started out small and far apart and then became more frequent and painful over time, just like in real childbirth.
A video of this experience shows the men writhing in pain, desperately trying to find a comfortable position.
The men claimed that they decided to experience the labor pains because they wanted to be able to empathize better with the women in their lives. However, while their hearts may have been in the right place, Jennifer Ashton, M.D., ABC News senior medical contributor, explained that Storm and Zeno still have miles to go if they truly want to feel what childbirth is like.
"You can think of [what Storm and Zeno experienced] as a very strong Charley horse,” Ashton told ABC News. "Is it as painful as labor? My opinion would be it isn't"
Furthermore, while the average labor lasts about 10 to 12 hours, the men only wore the labor machine for two hours.
Good Morning America anchor Lara Spencer said that she believes this video is a testament to all that women can endure.
"I think women have an amazing capacity for pain," Spencer said on Good Morning America. She added, while watching the video, that it was 11 years ago to the day that she had given birth to her own child.
Handling the pain of labor
If you're pregnant, you shouldn't let all of this talk about the pain of childbirth scare you. Remember, women have been giving birth since the dawn of time, and you can do it too. The American Association of Family Physicians (AAFP) recommends that to prepare for labor, you should take childbirth classes and talk to your doctor about all the ways to reduce pain during the experience. For example, changing positions, walking, breathing exercises, taking a warm bath, getting a massage and meditating may all help ease your discomfort. You can also talk to your doctor about what pain medications are available, and what the risks and benefits are to each.
The AAFP adds that an epidural, which is the most common way that pain is relieved during labor, is used in about half of all pregnancies. Through the past 10 years, there have been a number of advancements made to epidurals so that now, when you receive one, you will have better control over your leg muscles, and even be able to potentially walk around during labor.
Talk to you doctor about what pain relief options are best for you want your baby and put together a birth plan, so that when the time comes to deliver your little one, you will be prepared.