Soon-to-be dads in one Chinese province can now sign up for a new kind of childbirth preparation: free sessions in which they are literally shocked into understanding what their partners are about go through.
In each session at Hangzhou Aima maternity hospital in China’s Shandong province, a nurse sends an electric current to a pad placed above the man’s abdomen. Over the course of five minutes, the strength of the current is gradually increased, causing the men to “writhe in agony,” according to a British TV report. The pain the men experience might not match what women endure, sometimes for hours, during childbirth, but it at least offers a taste.
Reuters reports that while the majority of the men signing up are indeed expectant fathers, a few of them are just thrill-seekers looking for a shot of adrenaline. But even this odd, audacious bunch might be in over their heads. One man described the pain as feeling like his “heart and lungs were being ripped apart.”
It’s a progressive move for the hospital to take, as men in China are typically not a part of the birthing process. Some hospitals don’t even allow them in the room while their partners are giving birth.
For mothers, the video below may offer a bit of schadenfreude.