They’re tired, emotional and getting sick of carrying around a huge full-term bump. Sound familiar? But these aren’t mums-to-be – they’re three dads who have decided to try pregnancy on for size.
Jason Bramley, Steve Hanson and Jonny Biggins, Britons working together in Barcelona, decided to wear pregnancy suits for a month after a business meeting turned into a dare.
The trio say the idea was born from a conversation about how they could honour their own mums for British Mother’s Day on March 15, as well as Anna Jarvis, the woman who trademarked the term “Mother’s Day”.
So they donned the “empathy suits” – complete with breasts and 15kg bellies – and set about their daily business. They wear the suit all night and day, except for when bathing, and are recording their experiences and the reactions they’re getting on their blog, Three Pregnant Dads. As well as day-to-day activities, so far they’ve been to parties, the cinema, on a plane for a business trip to London and been interviewed on a British TV show.
“We’re trying to empathise a little and go through some of the physical discomforts women go through, though not all of them,” Biggins tells Yahoo! Parenting.
Halfway through the challenge, it’s fair to say they have a whole new appreciation for what pregnant women go through.
Even by the end of day one, dad-of-one Jason, 44, was already complaining of an aching back and sore shoulders. By day three, he was documenting his “very troubled sleep”. “I woke up constantly overheating and wrestling with my new assets,” he writes in the light-hearted blog.
After four days, he writes: “What I have more of now … is some understanding of how the everyday things like putting on your socks becomes a monumental task. Mums, you are amazing.”
And by day 12: “I am told mood swings are very much part of pregnancy, they say that this occurs due to the fact that you are going through tremendous change. This seems incredibly accurate and relevant to me in my current state. What I am not experiencing is the surge of hormones levels and for that I am incredibly grateful. The greatest respect to you mums for coping with this.”
He says the public reaction has been varied: “The waitress in the local cafe … seems to be taking our pregnancy very seriously now and told me off for having a glass of wine. I informed her that I was born in 1970 and at that time my mother was certainly not worried about having a drink or two during her pregnancy so I was following her lead.”
Steve, 46, also a dad of one, says his fake pregnancy has brought a host of “firsts”.
“It’s the first time there is a considered thought process before the once simple act of sitting down or standing up. The first time while perfectly healthy, going to the toilet leaves me with the dread of the next visit to the toilet. I’ve never before watched Call The Midwife and considered it homework. Nor have I ever considered cushions one of the most vital components to my front room.”
“Honestly, huge respect goes to all you pregnant mums out there. Every single one of you – one tough mother,” he writes.
On day 23: “I really don’t want to be a moan here, but it is becoming really difficult. If truth were told, it’s only over these last 24 hours that I feel I’ve had a real glimpse of what it may be like to be a pregnant mum. I am absolutely shattered, I’ve began to growl at anyone that wants to be cheerful with me, and I swear if one more person touches my bump without asking, someone will be asking my state of mind to be taken into account at the Old Bailey.”
From the outset, dad-of-two Jonny, 45, discovers that “this whole ordeal is definitely not made for a man”. “It’s not so much the 15kg of weight but how it’s distributed: right on your bladder and groin. To make matters worse, something moves inside the belly. A weird alien-like lump of solid resin swings like a embryonic pendulum with each move you make. It’s freaky. Wrong.”
The dads, who work for The Book of Everyone, will be wearing the suits until British Mother’s Day, on March 15.
(Images via Book of Everyone, Facebook)