I was happy to be a spare part at birth

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All fathers-to-be know that during those nine months of pregnancy they’ll feel like a bit of a spare part.

Right from the first scan of the baby up until the birth there isn’t really anything for dads to do apart from being there for their partner and giving support whenever it is needed.

I wasn’t the one growing a human life in my body

Warren Hayden

We witness what pregnancy is like for the mother and all the irritableness, uncomfortableness and exhaustion it brings.

But we can never and will never know what it’s like.

One thing I learnt during my partner Serena’s two pregnancies was never to come home from work and say: ‘I’m tired’.

I might have been a bit exhausted but I wasn’t the one growing a human life in my body and I didn’t have another heart beating just inches below my own.

Men have just never known what it’s like to be pregnant, until now.

What happens when three men are given the chance to experience pregnancy?

Well, this experiment made news all over the world last week. Three English men decided to honour their wives by wearing pregnancy empathy suits for one month to try to see what their partners had gone through to bring a new life into the world.

Apparently despite their comical appearance, these empathy suits can provide a complete shift in attitude towards pregnancy for men and it’s as close as possible to simulating the experience.

With the suits strapped to their bodies the three men will experience abdominal distention, pelvic tilt, a shift in posture causing waddling, abdominal aches, lower back stress, pressure on bladder, stomach, and lungs, shortness of breath and even the baby’s movement.

After 10 days, one of the ‘pregnant’ dads wrote this in a blog post: ‘To be honest it’s becoming quite tough. I don’t want sympathy for this, as it is what it is, and I agreed to go through with it… I am definitely getting a little grumpy… hats off to my mum and all the pregnant ladies out there.’

Another of the dads taking part in the ‘pregnancy’ wrote that he went to work ‘out of breath waddling and sweating’. You can read these blogs and find out more about the experiment on the website 3pregnantdads.com. They make great reading.

The current human population of Earth is estimated to be seven billion. There is a stereotype that if men had to go through pregnancy and child-birth that population figure would be much lower and I believe this to be a stereotype that probably has some truth behind it.

I’ve witnessed Serena giving birth to both my daughters without any pain relief and I know I couldn’t do it. I was more than happy being the spare part.