These Three Dads Took Part in a Month-Long Experiment To Find Out What Pregnancy Really Feels Like

Sun Apr 10 2022

Three grateful dads took it upon themselves to come up with a meaningful way to honor the moms in their life. But when they settled on an idea, they had no idea where it would lead them. Before they knew it, they had gotten a hold of three proper pregnancy suits that they would attach to their bodies. But here’s the kick (pun intended) – they would be wearing these suits 24/7 for an entire month of their busy lives.

The dads wanted to highlight the realities that moms-to-be have to endure before the little one has even arrived. We often think of the painful part of pregnancy as the actual childbirth, but those who have been through the journey know that there are a ton of challenges leading up to that… Luckily for us, these dads documented their experiences of being pregnant parents, but no-one couldn’t have predicted what they ended up discovering.

Three Dad Friends in Their Mid-forties Come Up With a Weird Idea

This whole journey started with three dad friends in their mid-forties. Jason Bramley, Steve Hanson, and Jonny Biggins were living in London, England and raising their young families. They owned a company together called The Book of Everyone, which created personalized books for holidays and group events.

It was actually during one of their brainstorming meetings for a new mom-centered book that they came up with the idea of wearing pregnancy suits. Despite their busy lives, Jason, Steve, and Jonny were willing to put themselves through a new type of experience to better understand what the women in their life have been through.

Jonny Thought That Embarrassment Was Going To Be His Biggest Challenge While Wearing the Suit

You’re probably curious about who the dads in question are, so we’re going to introduce each of them one by one. Meet the first dad that took part in the challenge; Jonny Biggins. Jonny was 45 years old at the time and a father to two young kids, and he mainly worried about the social implications of wearing a pregnancy suit.

He figured that the main issue would center around feeling embarrassed, but as time would tell, he was sorely mistaken. Jonny was fairly active and preferred to use his bicycle when it came to transportation. Because of that, he didn’t expect the physical aspect of wearing the suit to be that much of a challenge.

Jason, on the Other Hand, Was Looking To Understand What His Wife Had Experienced During Pregnancy

Dad number two was Jason Bramley, who was 44 years old at the time and married with a little baby at home who he affectionately referred to as “little Tutu”. For Jason, this experiment was going to be especially interesting. When Jason’s wife was pregnant with their son, he recalled how much of that time he spent working and not at home.

During the month that he would don the pregnancy suit, he would also have to spend much of his time away from his family, mirroring what must have been his wife’s experience during her pregnancy. Jason was in for a challenging four weeks, in which he would be dealing with his empathy belly more or less on his own.

Steve Had Forgotten a Lot of What It Was Like To Live With a Pregnant Person

It’s time to meet the third dad taking part in the experiment, Steve Hanson. Steve was the oldest dad involved at 46 years old, and he wasn’t used to having to get up in the night anymore. His son was well past the age where he used to wake up his parents in the middle of the night, so Steve was certainly not prepared for just how challenging the next month would be.

It had been a few years since Steve’s partner was pregnant, so arguably he had forgotten a lot of what he once knew about women experiencing pregnancy. For dad Steve, it had been the longest amount of time since he had been around his pregnant partner, so the realities were likely going to shock him the most.

Before They Get Into the Specially Ordered Suits, They Establish Some Ground Rules

The three dads had ordered the specialized pregnancy suits from abroad and weeks later, they were finally delivered to one of their houses. Steve and Jonny’s families were there for the big reveal, but before everyone could open the delivered goods, they needed to establish some ground rules. The first rule was that they weren’t allowed to take the pregnancy suits off for anything, except a daily shower.

The second rule was that each of the dads had to journal their experience on each day of the month-long experiment, writing at least 150 words per entry. The thing is, these pregnancy suits would simulate what it was like to be pregnant in the third trimester at nine months pregnant… Basically, the dads would be (for the most part) experiencing what it feels like to be very heavily pregnant ready to pop!

Putting on the Suits for the First Time Was a Hilarious Ordeal

Now for the fun part – getting into the pregnancy suit for the first time! Everyone gathered in the living room and started opening up the boxes, but immediately the dads found they need some helping hands to assist in getting the suits on. Luckily, one of the kids was willing to help strap them into their new empathy bellies.

But even though Steve’s son was supportive of his dad’s new venture, Jonny’s little baby had other thoughts. As soon as Jonny picked up his son and carried him on the baby bump, he started crying his eyes out. “He doesn’t like it” Jonny observed, not realizing that their wives had been observing them and quietly judging from the side.

A Wife’s Reaction That Tells You She’s Questioning Her Life Choices

Jonny’s wife rubbed his burgeoning baby bump and stated that “everybody in the bus is going to touch your belly.” But the expression on Steve’s wife’s face when she came around the corner was priceless. She found it harder to hide her true feelings at seeing her husband nine months pregnant.

The dads gathered in the center of the living room and Steve jokingly asked their partners “Do you fancy us?” to which his wife had a speedy response, confessing “no, not remotely!” Looking at her husband’s new physique, she hilariously pondered “That’s kind of the bit that the husbands like I think, when your boobs get bigger. They think ‘Oh yeh! This is cool! And then the rest comes after…”

On the First Day, Jonny Realizes That It’s Not the Weight of the Suits That He Has to Worry About

Jonny gave an honest account of what it was like to wear the pregnancy suit the first time around. In a video log, he stated “It wasn’t quite what I imagined.” Jonny explained “When I went into this I thought there would be some discomfort, a lot of embarrassment, and some disruption to my life. But I had no idea that it would be quite as uncomfortable as it is.”

Soon enough, the real cost of wearing the suit started to show itself. “It’s not so much the weight – 15 kilos – it’s the fact that it presses in all the worst places. The bladder, the groin, just walking in it is difficult let alone trying to do some of the things that I enjoy doing like going for a run or a bike or a kitesurf.” Jonny signed off saying “So… it’s going to be challenging. We’re in it – we’re in together – so here goes to being pregnant for a month.”

Getting the Suit Back on After a Shower Was More Challenging Than They Imagined

Jason’s wife and son had traveled abroad, meaning he would have to put his suit back on all by himself after having his morning shower. As we can see, that in itself was an ordeal for him. In a video log, he recounted “They’re much heavier and much trickier to put on than I thought.” He added that “It was a mixed day of emotions” and that he “certainly got aches and pains in my back”. Just you wait, Jason!

Jonny truthfully revealed that the dads were worried about what they had signed up for: “I think there was quite a lot of excitement yesterday about embarking on this project. Followed by a lot of fear actually once we realized quite how heavy these suits are and how heavy it will be to be pregnant. Not just one day but for the rest of the month. So… slightly anxious I think and I think none of us have quite realized how much of a task this is gonna be.”

It’s Only Day Two and No One Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep

By day two, it was clear that the nights were a real problem. “Well… that was an interesting night’s sleep,” said Steve in his vlog. Jonny went into more detail about his night, revealing “It’s Monday morning, I’ve just had my first night’s sleep, if that’s what you can call it. It was very hard to get comfortable. The only way in the end to get some sleep was to sleep on my side and put a pillow under it [the baby belly] to support it. Even then, it cut off the circulation to my arms…”

Jason’s night left him feeling reflective: “I started on my back but the dumbbell inside my pregnant belly slapped against my Cava-filled bladder with every move I made. Can this be what my wife went through?” Jason’s night-time ordeal gave him an interesting realization: “Actually given how busy my little boy is, I suspect this is exactly what she went through. She is a tougher girl than I am.”

Jason Feels the Loneliness Since He’s the Only Pregnant Dad Without His Family Around

Jason got real about what it felt like to be alone during this experiment. He stated, “I had both families around for the official opening of our pregnancy term and I felt quite alone, my wife and son are in Singapore.” They were visiting his wife’s family for the Chinese New Year. He continued: “I think Steve and Jonny kind of realized they had quite a lot of assistance from their wives and a lot of jokes from their families.”

Jason continued: “I think I got quite a reality check of being quite alone and actually realizing that that’s going to be what I shall face for the next couple of weeks.” Jason had even tried calling them at the time, but he simply couldn’t properly connect. He later wrote in his blog post, “Got a real sense of being alone on this now as each family rally around their pregnant dads.”

Jonny Has Toilet Troubles That Threaten To Make Him Even More of a Social Outcast

Jonny was especially honest about the unexpected toilet troubles relating to the suit. In a daily blog, he wrote about how hard it was to get into position: “The belly itself hangs so low it swings perilously around your mid-groin and to pee you have to hike the thing up with one hand, pull the fella out with the other and pray you’re not urinating down your leg.”

Luckily, it wasn’t all for nothing. Jonny’s unsympathetic wife appeared to have a change of heart once she how hard it was for him to carry out some basic needs: “It’s funny that now I’m wearing the suit, my wife’s attitude turned from one of ‘that’s no substitute for my 9 months imprisonment to one of bemusement and pity.”

Pedestrians in the Street React Badly to Jonny’s Alternative Cycling Position

Jonny would almost always rather cycle somewhere than drive, as long as he doesn’t need to take the family with him. But finding out how to sit on a bicycle now that he was nine months pregnant was a different kettle of fish. He admitted to “shortsightedly” taking his bike to Jason’s house to avoid traffic, but it came at a cost.

“To get vaguely comfortable on the return journey I had to rest the belly on the cross bar and breasts over the handlebars,” he wrote in a blog, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Jonny admitted “By the time I was home I was getting used to confused pedestrians double-taking. I waved cheerfully to one lady who put her hand on her mouth muffling a scream, then turned on her heels and disappeared into the metro.”

By the Third Day Jonny’s Swinging Belly Was Getting in the Way of Everything

It wasn’t long before the swinging of the pregnant belly was too much for Jonny. “By the end of the day the constant swinging motion of the belly forced me to brave a visit to the local pharmacy and ask for medical assistance,” he wrote. Later in his vlog, he followed up: “The very nice woman in the chemist sorted me out with a elasticated band… and it’s a revelation. I can walk, hallelujah!”

Jonny elaborated in the blog, writing “I expected her [the chemist] to crack a smile or reel back in shock, stab me with a syringe, anything but treat me like a pregnant woman. She nodded professionally like she’d seen it all before, opened a drawer and placed an elastic waist strap on the counter. A few minutes later, with belly strapped firmly in place, I waltzed out of there with a new-found spring in my stride.”

Jason Considers What It Must Be Like for Men Who Carry Around a Big Weight Everyday

Not even a week into the experiment, Jason’s baby bump was making him feel self conscious about his dad bod. He had woken up that morning feeling particularly hot and bothered under the weight of the suit, but figured “that I should face the world with a brazen attitude.” Sadly, that was easier said than done.

Jason recalled recieving “a number of reactions from disbelief to pure terror. I am sure most people think I am just massively overweight.” But that left him wondering about a different question: “I wonder whether heavily set people get this reaction all the time.” Jason’s pregnancy suit was giving him a whole new perspective on life as a man with a larger body type, and what they had to deal with on a daily basis.

Their Employees Couldn’t Take Them Seriously as a Boss Anymore

All three dads documented what it was like to head into work wearing the suit for the first time. Jason explained his experience: “Work was strange, there’s lots to do so we had to act as normal as we could and behave as normal as we could. [We had to ] have meetings… a little bit surreal really when each of us, each one of the founders, are oversized and pregnant. So difficult to take seriously.”

Their employees definately had a lot to laugh about at the water cooler on the first day. “It was weird returning to work. Calling clients, skyping (camera off today), meetings, dealing with investors; doing the normal everyday stuff felt anything but normal,” Jason added.

To Cover Your Chest or Not To Cover Your Chest: A Pregnant Person’s Dilemma

Jonny hadn’t considered how uncomfortable he would feel in his pregnancy suit around other dads at a kids football match. “Football night and feeling uncomfortably self-conscious. I’ve just returned from watching Enzo play football at his local club. I love watching him play almost as much as he loves playing, but I didn’t relish the idea of wearing a pregnancy suit in front of all the other dads,” he wrote in his blog during his first pregnancy week.

“Pathetic I know” Jonny berated himseIf. He “approached the grounds anxious and unsure whether my breasts should be in or out of my jacket. Call me bashful but I settled for breasts-in and belly-out. Proud not provocative.” But the lack of response from the other dads left him wanting a little bit more: “I went in, bracing myself for a barrage of leeriness. Silence… It was almost disappointing. Maybe I should have got the breasts out after all.”

What Used To Bring Them Pleasure Is Now a Source of Pain and Torment

A few days in to the experiement, and Steve still wasn’t managing to get a good night’s rest. “Not a wink. What an awful night, I just couldn’t get settled,” he acknowledged. And it seemed as though nothing he did made any difference whatsoever – he was doomed to a month of suffering. He even “Tried to make a small city out of pillows around my bump” but to no avail.

That’s when Steve stumbled upon a starling revelation. “What were at first quite a pleasurable novelty, my boobs, soon became about as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit.” You know what they say; be careful what you wish for. “They were way too warm and hung on my arm sending it to sleep, and waking me at the same time.”

Jonny Never Thought That Pregnancy Would Make Him Rethink the Selfie Stick

An unexpected development from the pregnancy experiment came in the form of buying habits. Jonny had alway passionately hated the seflie stick “tourist traps” sold all over the place in city centers. But now that he was vlogging on a daily basis to track his pregnancy journey, he found himself making a shameful purchase.

“So today I did something I said to myself I never do” he started. “I bought myself one of those ridiculous selfie sticks. Well, I’ve got to be honest, I’m not sure if I want to go out into the public with it.” It had become too uncomfortable to hold up his phone and talk into the camera lense, and the added distance came in real handy for when he wanted to get the whole pregnancy suit in frame. Pregnancy was changing Jonny in more ways than one.

The Pregnancy Belly Starts Getting in the Way of a Happy Marriage

When Jonny’s wife Mafer asked him to buy some cereal for the baby, he really should have made it a priority to get it right that day. “I grabbed what I thought was right – admittedly it contained cocoa but it did come with a free tin of powdered milk.” But once he got home and Mafer saw the cereal box, the smile on her face had totally disappeared. She shouted at him ” “Estas loco? Chocolate!? For a baby?! All you care about is your belly, no one else is important anymore!”

Jonny explained how “She stormed out of the house and back to the pharmacy to get the right cereal” while he was left “stunned and confused like only a pregnant dad can be.” But he soon understood – “After a moment I realised she was right and weirdly I empathised with how she felt from the time when she was pregnant and I was on the other side.”

Jason Struggles To Find a Balance Between a Leisurely Pace and Getting Things Done

Something that Jason was learning during his experience was that “Spontaneity is a thing of the past.” After nearly getting into an accident on his way to work, he rather wisely “decided on a much more cautious and leisurely pace.” But it came back to bite him in the backside once he finally got to the office.

“So many simple things took so long to do today. The cable fell out of my computer and landed under my desk. I had to get on all fours to retrieve it,” Jason complained. “I then reversed out and hauled myself back into my chair only to drop my mobile. The whole process took what felt like the best part of the morning.”

Steve Looks Into How Realistic Their Pregnancy Simulation Really Is

How similar was their pregnancy to a real pregnancy? Steve started to get curious. He found that the suit was specifically created with certain physical pressures in mind, such as abdominal distention, a pelvic tilt, abdominal aches, and a shift in posture that causes you to waddle when you walk.

Aside from that, the suit was also designed to create lower back stress, pressure on the bladder, stomach, and lungs, shortness of breath, a rise in body temperature and blood pressure – the list goes on. “What I don’t have is the big doses of progesterone or oestrogen… I also didn’t get the 8 months gradual weight gain or the shiny hair.” But Steve was gaining “some understanding of how the everyday things like putting on your socks becomes a monumental task. Mums you are amazing.”

Pregnant Dad Overboard: Jason Has an Unceremonious Fall and Noone Comes to His Beck and Call

It turns out that there were real hazardous risks associated with wearing this suit, and Jason can attest to them. “I decided to cycle despite the discomfort of having the hammer inside my pregnant belly slap against my groin” he wrote in a daily blog. “I chose a more scenic and less crowded route today which took me through the park” he continued. “All was going well until my front tyre burst and I came to a mal-coordinated and ungracious halt.”

“I sat in a heap frantically trying to pump it up and got my self into quite a sweat.” Just when it seemed like he was about to be thrown a lifeline but a member of the public, he realized that no one wanted much to do with him. “A family walked passed, I thought I they might lend me a hand. Instead the horrified parents whisked their children away, double quick, in the opposite direction.” To be fair, that might not be something most pregnant women have to deal with.

Steve Has Just About Enough of Ignorant Man Chat Around the Office

When one of the guys in the office was bragging about participating in the Ironman Triathlon, he felt his frustration rising. “One of the guys in our office (Paul) won’t shut up about some namby-pamby race where you swim for a while, ride a bike for a bit and run a little.” Considering the physical exhaustion that this pregnancy experiment was putting Steve under, he just wasn’t in the right mind to hear what Paul had to say.

“’It’s the toughest challenge a man could do’ says Paul. ‘It pushed me to my absolute limit!’ exclaims Paul,” Steve jokingly mimicked. “Well, Mr. Iron Man Paul I’ve got a challenge for you. It’s called ‘The Iron Mum Triathlon’. Wearing a pregnancy suit, 1. Get the laundry out of the tumble dryer – 2. Iron the laundry – 3. Put the clothes on. Boom! no more macho chat from Paul in the office.” Steve quipped. “Honestly, huge respect goes to all you pregnant mums out there. Every single one of you.”