If you’ve ever tried to explain to a man—particularly if he’s your partner—what it’s like to be pregnant, you’re going to be singing Shay Mitchell’s praises (or at least laughing your heart out).
The 33-year-old Canadian actress, famous for playing Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars, is due in early October and has been documenting her pregnancy in her YouTube series Almost Ready. In episode 3, which launched yesterday, she decided it was about time boyfriend Matte Babel really understood what she was going through. When he mentions he’d “love to” carry a baby, Mitchell tells him, “today’s your lucky day”—and hands him a 30-pound pregnancy suit to match the extra weight she’s already carrying.
Then she upps the ante by putting some devices on his stomach to simulate the feeling of a baby kicking—and controlls it herself with a remote.
The two go on a hike, and Babel’s new empathy journey begins when he tries to get out of the car. “Is it tough getting out the door?” she asks him as he struggles. During their walk, Babel suddenly stops and yells “OW!” in pain. “Yeah,” Mitchell says. “It just kicked me too.”
The lesson in the realities of pregnancy came after Mitchell and Babel had been arguing over their birth plan and expectations for infant care. He’s pro-breastfeeding, arguing that all women should nurse unless they physically can’t—but Mitchell points out that “formulas are good too.” He’s also against the idea of an epidural, but Mitchell is all about getting one. “Would you get a root canal without any drugs?” she counters. “It’s like you’re in excruciating pain, and I’m holding the medicine and saying, ‘you could have it and it wouldn’t do any harm, but you don’t want it.’” He protests, claiming a root canal isn’t comparable because a woman’s body isn’t born to go through that experience as it is childbirth.
“Well, listen, next time you can do this,” she says—and to drive home her point, pulls out the pregnancy suit, large breasts and all.
Mitchel isn’t the first to try to help men understand what pregnancy and childbirth is really like. Ultrasound Babyface offered a simulated labor pain experience for pregnant women’s partners, and their reactions were hilarious.