'Mommy Tummy' Device Lets Men Enjoy Pregnancy


One time when I was several months along in my first pregnancy, my husband cluelessly parked our car in a spot about five inches from the car next to us. When I stared at him and pointed out that there was no way in hell I'd be able to open the passenger door, much less exit the vehicle, he had the audacity to look confused and ask why I couldn't just "squeeze" my way out.

I remember thinking at the time that I wished he could be enormously pregnant, just for a minute, so he could enjoy the effort of attempting to "squeeze" his Beluga-sized midsection ANYWHERE AT ALL.

Too bad the "Mommy Tummy" from Kosaka Laboratory wasn't invented back then. I could have whipped this thing out, re-parked the car, and invited him to give it a shot.

The Mommy Tummy is a truly bizarre Japanese invention designed to simulate both the joys and difficulties of maternity—the intended result being more understanding, empathetic husbands. It's made up of a specially designed vest for the man to wear, and over a two-minute period, balloons inflate to imitate breast growth, a water bag over the belly fills with water (this is the "fetus"), and air actuators mimic the sensation of kicking.

Mommy Tummy wearers can even monitor their pretend baby's vital signs on a monitor and observe as the fetus eventually flips upside down to prepare for birth. Mercifully, this is where the simulation ends, although I wouldn't be surprised if Mommy Tummy 2.0 comes with an optional vaginal delivery add-on (plastic placenta not included).

Here, take a look at the Mommy Tummy in action:

(Heh. I am particularly fond of the foofy pink apron the guy is wearing.)

This is being presented as a "serious game project" from Kosaka, and debuted at the Tokyo Game Show earlier this month. Honestly, I can't imagine the Mommy Tummy rolling out in U.S. stores any time soon, nor can I figure how donning a water-filled vest for two minutes would encourage any man to feel anything other than desperate worry someone was going to film him wearing that thing and put it on YouTube ... but hey, what do I know. Maybe this will become the latest maternity-store gadget, available for clueless dads-to-be everywhere.

Would your partner wear the Mommy Tummy? Would you want him to?

Image via YouTube



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nonmember avatar Monzie

I had very large babies and a giant preggo belly to match. Fortunately my husband "got it." I only wish other people did. I've never been so rudely treated as when I was pregnant. It was like people were annoyed that I dared to haul my colossal self out in public. When I was 37 weeks along, we took a last minute trip to IKEA to buy my son his first big boy bed. Naturally, we stopped in the cafe for the unavoidable meatballs and cake. They were having a free meal promo, so it was even more crowded than usual. After we finished our meal, I stood to collect our dishes and some jerky dude attempted to shove past me. He rammed his cart into my butt and said "EXCUSE ME!" I turned, pointed to my huge belly and said "If I could suck it in, I would!" That guy needs to wear the prosthetic tummy...for a YEAR.

Alison Carabajal

Yes I would totally have my husband wear this. Just so he could truly experience something remotely similar to what I am currently going through. Now if we could just figure out how to simulate the swollen feet and hands, the lower back pain and the impossibility of sleeping on your stomach or being comfortable AT ALL at night. (Yes right now I'm 9 months pregnant and getting a little bitter)

-Midn... -MidnightKarma-

I wonder if they had female testers (ones that had previously experienced pregnancy) so they would have accurate account of what goes on during pregnancy.

SandM... SandMsMama

now if they could come out with a way to simulate the heart burn, the hormones that make you CRAZY, the swelling, the blood sugar drops that make you eat every 2 hours, the not being able to breathe when the baby is up high, the CONTRACTIONS, and let's not forget the actual child birth! 40 hours of marathon contractions followed by an hour of pushing, anyone? I'd venture to say the big belly is the least of the evils

tuffy... tuffymama

Jeez, Monzi, where do you live? Had that happened to me, DP would have disassambled the guy. What a jerk! I'm sorry that happened.

DP was empathetic but really clueless until the last few weeks, when he was nailed by sympathy pains. He had heartburn, frequent urges to pee, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, backache, sore feet and constipation, right along with me. Fortunately he wasn't cranky like me so he suffered it well. We just rubbed each other's feet and waited for LO.

nonmember avatar Monzie

Tuffymama, we were at the IKEA near Chicago O'Hare. Super busy location with lots of tourists but this guy was obviously a local. Husband was so flabbergasted by his rudeness, that he was speechless. I, however, gave the creep my best preggo-hormone death stare as I suggested he find a different way around.

njsnm... njsnmz0811

i wouldny make him wear that thing he was very understanding thru my pregnancy i couldnt have asked for a bigger help....other people on the other hand...not so much!

ambtr... ambtrav2kids

Couldnt they make the boobs sit a little bit closer together? LOL

salamaat salamaat

This is so cool!

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