Dutch television hosts Dennis Storm and Valerio Zeno decided to experience simulated labor contractions in order to know what women feel during birth. The two men yelled, cried and clutched at pillows for over two hours of the artificial "labor" ordeal.
The video clip shows Storm and Zeno, hosts of the popular Dutch-language show "Guinea Pigs,"
explaining why they were taking on the challenge. They said that because labor pains are the worst possible and because men cannot experience real-life labor they agreed to be subjected to electro-stimulation that simulate the contractions of labor and give an experience of the distress of birth pangs.
The Huffington Post
reports that In the Dutch-language video, Zeno questions the nurse nervously before they are hooked up to the electrodes: "Do you think the pain will make us scream."
One of the two nurses answers truthfully: "Yes, it definitely will."
They lie down on the bed and pull up their shirts.The nurses attach the electrodes to critical stomach muscles and they go through two hours of simulated birth contractions. The video shows the men trying to put a brave face on in the effort to show the womenfolk that what a woman can do a man can do better. However, their misery is obvious. The video shows them doubling over, clutching at their pillows tightly in agony.
According to The Huffiington Post
, the time span of the pangs they experienced was much shorter than the usual in natural or real-life labor.
After two hours of torture, the men summarize the new insights they had gained through first-hand experience. Zeno described the experience as torture and wondered if he would let his wife go through it again.
reports this is not the first time a man has passed though the ordeal of electro-stimulation for faux
labor pains on a TV show. In 2009, Dr Andrew Rochford went through the experience in the Australian TV show "What's Good For You."
After the experience, Rochford reportedly said he could now understand why women swear during childbirth. According to Mommyish.com
, Rochford had ample opportunity to display his vocabulary of taboo words.
NY Daily News
notes that questions may be raised about a procedure that purports to replicate the pains of childbirth labor through electrodes that send charges which induce muscular cramps. It is questionable that the actual sensations of giving birth can be recreated in this manner.
comments on the validity of the self-torture ordeal: "In reality... there exists evidence that suggest that a pregnant woman's body starts to produce more endorphins just before labor. Endorphins are natural opiate-like substances. They are similar to morphine and heroin, but not as potent. In the presence of pain, they are manufactured by our bodies and act as a natural analgesic.
"Endorphins have positively altered the memory of many women's birth experiences and in some cases have induced an amnesic effect (forgetting the pain). Endorphins can therefore provide an internal 'protection' against the intensity of labor and giving birth and have the potential to strengthen a woman's psyche."
NY Daily News
reports that the nurses who administered the shocks gave the men a baby doll and pink cookies after the two-hour session.
Storm and Zeno both agreed that in spite of the pains the time spent shooting that episode of their show was one of the best for them.
Storm and Zeno are known for their outlandish pranks on their TV show "Guinea Pigs." The Huffington Post
reports that last year, they reportedly ate each other's flesh on live TV because they were curious to know what human flesh tastes like.