Dr. Andrew Rochford Undergoes Labor Experiment, Learns Childbirth Hurts

Our friends at Bust Magazine bring us this fantastically wonderful experiment Dr Andrew Rochford underwent for the television program What’s Good For You to see what us lady people go through while giving birth. You guys have GOT to watch this, and then force your partners, husbands and baby daddies to watch this too. Spoiler alert: Childbirth hurts!

From Bust:

Guided by an obstetrician, Dr. Rochford decided to personally undergo simulated labor pains through low-voltage electrodes attached to his abdomen.  The voltage was carefully timed by a physiotherapist to mimic the contraction patterns of a woman giving birth for the first time.

Only two hours into “labor”, Dr. Rochford ranked his pain level as “an eight out of ten” and immediately accepted nitrous oxide to relieve the pain.  At three and a half hours, he was wrung out–and his smiling (female!) guides informed him that most women would have to continue laboring for another nine and a half hours.


Dr. Rochford has three children of his own and he wanted to undergo the experiment to see what his wife went through giving birth and to see if men or women have a higher pain threshold.

He exclaims in the video that he “hates contractions” and that the experiment is “almost too much to bear.”

After calling it quits just past the three-and-a-half-hour mark, Rochford apologized to all the women out there, including his wife, for thinking he understood what it was like to go through labor.

And the best quote of all:

“Men of the world, you have no idea. Leave it to the women.  Forget the whole pain threshold debate.  We have nothing.  Women win.  Men don’t.  The end.”

Someone needs to open up a business where pregnant women can send their partners in to experience this firsthand, and where sexually active teens can go to remind them to always use birth control. I have so much respect and admiration for women who choose natural childbirth. Just watching the video reminded me of my own labor pains, even with an epidural. I’ve always said that if men went through childbirth they would never complain about something silly like a headache again. Thank you Dr. Rochford for proving my point!

(Photo: AISPIX by Image Source /Shutterstock)

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  • http://twitter.com/MamaHasSnacks Carinn Jade

    I love this concept buuuuut (first let me admit I didn’t watch the video yet) from his written comments it could be construed as a little condescending? I don’t want to just be declared the “winner”, I want them to have genuine empathy. What do you think? Should we pack our husbands up and ship em out to Dr. Rochford?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      YES! we need very large cardboard boxes and hey lazy! watch the video! he is super charming and sincere!

    • http://twitter.com/MamaHasSnacks Carinn Jade

      I swear I’m not being lazy. I’m just hiding in the corner with the computer. If my 3yo or 1yo hear a peep of noise from it they will pounce on me like kittens to a ball of yarn. It’s survival Eve!

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Lock them in the attic!

  • Tinyfaeri

    Maybe it’s just me, but I have no desire to see my husband (or any man) in pain to “understand” what labor was like for me, and I don’t think this experiment really lets a man feel what labor is like – it’s more than just the muscles in the stomach tightening because of an electric shock, it’s more than just pain. Yes, there’s pain, but there’s also pressure and a baby kicking and a purpose behind real labor. I gave birth in a midwife-run birth center that did not do epidurals. My labor was just under 6 hours, and I either skipped or slept through early labor; I woke up to my water breaking and within minutes was having very strong contractions every 3-5 minutes with no real breaks. 3 hours later, I was at 7 centimeters, 3 hours later I had a beautiful baby girl. It was fast and hard and had no real build-up to it. My husband held my hand through the whole thing, and he was pale as a ghost by the end. He was empathetic and scared and concerned and loving, and his desire to do something to ease my discomfort was palpable. I don’t think he needs an electrode shocking his stomach into a fake contraction to “really know” what labor was like so he can… what? Give me proper credit? He gives me plenty of credit.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Thanks a lot Tiny! Now one of us will have to invent a cloning machine so everyone can have nice, empathetic husbands like you :( Thanks for the extra work! hee hee. I’m glad your husband was awesome, but so many aren’t.

    • Tinyfaeri

      If I thought I had to shock him into empathy, I wouldn’t have married him. Even if he wasn’t, wanting a man to get shocked in the abs to feel the pain of labor is like wanting someone to break their leg or get shot or stabbed just because you did. If I broke my leg, I wouldn’t want him to break his just so he knew exactly what I was going through. I don’t see how that mentality would make anyone more empathetic.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      Oh man, see , if ANY man ever tried to tell me they understand the pain of childbirth I’d probably punch him in the throat.

    • Tinyfaeri

      So… what’s the point of the experiment that you seemed to like so much?

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      allow me to clarify my darling: if ANY man who hasn’t gone through Dr. Rochford’s super neat experiment blah blah throat punch! Ka-blam!

    • Angel

      The point is, many men are a~a~s~h~o~l~e~s to their own wives (like mine who abandoned me halfway thru pregnancy just because I was diagnosed with cancer!) and you can’t always tell what the person you marry WILL be like in the future. Lots of men change their colors after they have “wived” their women (enslaved) and are just pure mean JERKS to them after that.

      So this little exercise has a definitely positive purpose. That is, to humble the A-hole, at least for a little while. We all know he’ll eventually bounce back to his normal idiot self. But why NOT give a guy a dose of his own medicine? Plenty of people DO deserve to be shot, stabbed, leg broken, etc because they DO put innocent others through these things. While an eye for an eye isn’t ALWAYS the answer, sometimes at least it’s a start!

  • LinZoo

    I woudn’t want my husband to experience any pain, ever, but if a man is really interested in experiencing labor, this is a start. They just need to add back pain that makes you vomit and genital tearing.

  • jsterling93

    He really only got to feel the muscle contraction part. He didn’t get to feel the tearing and such or the emotional upheaval that comes with the labor and delivery.

    • http://www.xojane.com/author/eve Eve Vawter

      That’s is very true. But can we give him a gold star for trying?

    • beenthere.donethisX10

      I’d give him 2 gold stars! 1 for doing this without being proded by someone else, and 1 for lasting as long as he did.

  • LinZoo

    I know I’m commenting 2 days later, but you know what really pisses me off about this guy? His entire experiment is premised on what, testing out whether labor would actually hurt a man? Did he not believe that women in childbirth are really experiencing a lot of pain? Did he think we’re just faking it or we’re a bunch of wimps, and it wouldn’t make a man cry Uncle? Also, I have a hard time believing that the women in charge of the juice weren’t amping it up: “Yeah, it feels just like that, you jackass.”

  • HappyGoLucky

    I don’t know any man who doubts that giving birth is painful. What this doctor did was a publicity stunt that caters to simpletons like you, Eva. If your husband’s appreciation for you increased after watching this video, then perhaps you married the wrong guy. Then again, based on your comments, you probably deserve each other…

    • Angel

      Nice way to judge, but it looks like YOU are the “wrong man” for ANY woman. What’s more, there are PLENTY of guys out there who both torture their wives (and don’t blame HER for marrying him, either, because these same men should have earned Oscars for their acting skills BEFORE marriage!) and criticize them for not being barefoot and on hands and knees scrubbing the floor the entire pregnancy long.

      To men like this, who think ALL men are superior to women, and for all those politicians and pastors who want to limit abortions and birth control, I’d say this little exercize should be MANDATORY. NO man should be able to have ANY say over a woman’s uterus or her decisions on reproduction without going through at least 24 hours of this.

      So yeah this has a VERY GOOD purpose, bub.

  • beenhere,donethisX10

    Though he isn’t experienciing any of the pressure associated with the contractions, I think he got a taste of what labor is like. And I appreciate that he tried this, and acknowledged how tiring and draining it is. I thought it was fun that he got a little emotional in there, without having the added hormones that naturally accomanies pregnancy! Every man, especially teen guys, should see this, if not experience it! Maybe they would respect their ability to procreate a little more, and there would be fewer unwanted pregnancies! Just a thought

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1410833964 Theresa Kjær

    yay we win.. again lol

  • Pingback: Two Men Find Out What Labor Contractions Feel Like [Video With Amplified Audio]()

  • kittymuffs

    Birth shouldn’t be in a hospital, pregnancy is not a sickness nor an emergency.

    • Cory

      Agree with you a hundred percent! Unless it BECOMES an emergency (or is going to be a high risk birth) … it should be treated in a calm enviroment, such as the woman’s own home, with a pair of midwives and a doula.

    • Angel

      WHAT??? You must have never GIVEN BIRTH!!! The only excuse ANYONE can give for NOT getting a woman in a potentially deadly situation like childbirth (ever hear of the high fatality rate before women went to hospitals and birthing centers??) would be to put a woman in a PALACE because she deserves to be treated like a QUEEN for having the strength and fortitude of going thru the entire 38+ weeks of pregnancy ALONG with the horrendous and life dangerous pain of labor and birth!

  • Thinker

    I’m just going say this women go through some serious pain, no doubt about that at all. So to the Women out their I have the upmost respect you because y’all experience more pain than males by far but this one man can’t speak for the millions in the world. So even if he couldn’t take it does not mean another man couldn’t take it because there are males in this world who live in constant unspeakable pain everyday, So do not underestimate us because yea we don’t give birth and we don’t have periods but we can endure pain just as well. This guy did something new by at least trying to understand but come on he not even experiencing the actual pain of giving birth. He just weak physically. but women don’t take offense, this is not meant to attack you because I have said early I have the upmost respect for you. Enjoy your day people.

  • matthew king

    I love my husband experience labor especial the contractions and backache and painfull squeezing sensation that come ever two minutes that are minute long with painfull backache and baby kick you or in my case twin boys kick me and remembering my Lamaze breathing .in traction I vomit twice.then I pushed my two babies out.i was in labor for 17 hours long.

  • YouKnowImRight

    Hey, quick question.. since he could take it off, doesn’t that make it cheating on the female side? strap a guy into that sucker for 24 hours, don’t let him out, and if he survives, would that mean pain threshold has absolutely nothing to do with childbirth, simply because besides pain medication, surgery and anaesthetics there is literally no other way?

    • PrincessPeaches

      Even if he could keep it on for 24 hours, he really wouldn’t be experiencing much. He didn’t experience pregnancy, he didn’t experience the mood swings and hormone changes, he didn’t experience child birth at all. Don’t get me wrong, the fact that the attempt to feel what woman goes through is a kudos, but you can’t tell me the tearing, burning sensation as the child is coming down the birthing canal, the increase in heart rate and emotions that accompany that feeling…. the AFTER birth that hurts like hell… and don’t discount twins or triplets… the actual amount of time it takes to push… yes, you will swear…

  • Jobs-events Local-companies An

    I dont suppose you know the manufacturer of the machine?

  • amy

    I wonder how many teen boys would get a girl pregnant if the boy had to experience this pain

  • Latonya Miles

    I want to sign my husband up for this! He say’s that he can take the pain! I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, but he say’s bring it on! How can I sign him up!