ETG logo


Intermediate Instant Lesson™

Men Give Birth

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Discussion
Work in pairs. Answer these questions.
1. Where were you born? (i.e. in a hospital, at home, other...)
2. Who was at your birth? (If your parents didn't tell you, make a guess!)
3. In your country what do fathers usually do at the birth of their child?

B: Making a Prediction
Here are some words from today's article. Work in pairs and say what you think the article will be about.
childbirth,  hospital,  pain,  fathers-to-be, free sessions, electric shocks

Reading Activities

A: Comprehension
Find the answers to these questions in today's article.
1. Where is the hospital?
2. What is it providing?
3. Who is this for?
4. How much does it cost?

Labor-intensive: China hospital gives men chance to experience pain of childbirth

1. JINAN China, Fri Nov 21, (Reuters) - A hospital in eastern China is offering fathers-to-be a chance to experience the pain of childbirth after several new moms complained they got little sympathy from their partners.

2. Free sessions are held twice a week at Aima maternity hospital in Shandong province and about 100 men have signed up to be tortured. Most are expectant dads but there are thrill seekers too among the volunteers for "taster sessions".

3. For the simulations, pads attached to a device are placed above the abdomen, giving electric shocks that induce pain. The test subjects writhe in agony for up to five minutes as a nurse gradually raises the intensity on a scale of one to ten.

4. Song Siling, who is trying for a baby with his girlfriend, shut his eyes and grimaced as the needle on the electrode monitor inched forward with a beep.

5. "It felt like my heart and lungs were being ripped apart," said Song, who made it to level seven before frantically waving to the nurse to turn off the system. Others dropped out within minutes when they couldn't take the pain.

6. Despite their obvious discomfort, the on-duty nurse said the simulations could never match the torment of actual childbirth.

7. "Still, if men can experience this pain, then they'll be more loving and caring to their wives," said Lou Dezhu.

8. Wu Jianlong, who braved the pain right up to level 10, says the experience radically altered his views on childbirth.

9. "Because all women have children and it usually takes quite a long time, I had thought of it as being something really natural, something really normal that they can get through," he said.

10. Wu, whose wife is three months pregnant, yelled in pain and clenched his fists before giving in and begging the nurse to stop - he had reached the maximum limit by then.

11. Unlike in the West, Chinese men are often not in the room when their partners or wives give birth. Some state-run hospitals do not allow expectant dads to enter, even if they want to.

Article © 2014 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2014

B: Reading For Specific Information
Find these numbers in today's article and write a sentence for each one to show why it is in the article.

C: Completing Sentences:
Use the sentence beginnings below to write sentences about today's article.
1. At the sessions the nurses place...
2. Most of the men who take part in the sessions...
3. The organizers of the sessions hope that men who do the course may be...
4. After taking part in a session Wu Jianlong says...
5. In some hospitals in China men...?


D: Vocabulary Hunt
Find words in today's article with these meanings:
1. Find a word in paragraphs 1 - 3 that means feeling sorry for someone else.
2. Find a word in paragraphs 1 - 3 that means a thing made for a particular purpose.
3. Find a word in paragraphs 1 - 3 that means the stomach.
4. Find a word in paragraphs 4 - 6 that means frowned with pain.
5. Find a word in paragraphs 4 - 6 that means someone who is working.
6. Find a word in paragraphs 7 - 9 that means to feel something.
7. Find a word in paragraphs 7 - 9  that means changed.
8. Find a word in paragraphs 10 - 11 that means the highest or biggest amount.

Post-Reading Activities
You may do one or more of these.

A: What Do You Think?
Discuss these questions in pairs:
What do you feel about the hospital's sessions?
How much do you think this will help couples expecting a baby?

B: Describing Customs
Work in pairs and tell your partner what usually happens when a baby is born in your country.  What do the families do? 
How do they celebrate? 
What gifts do the babies receive.

C: Give Your Opinion
Answer these questions in small groups.
1. What do you think is the best age (for men and for women) to have a baby?
Why do you think this?
2. What do you think are the most important qualities for parents to have?
Why do you think this?
3. What do you think is the hardest thing about being a parent of a young child?
Why do you think this?



Pre-Reading Activities

B: Making A Prediction - Notes
Students may spend a short time discussing their predictions but accept a variety of answers. The activity itself will be more effective if students do not have access to the article at this stage.
In Reading Activity A students will be able to see how close their predictions were to the actual content of
today's article.

Reading Activities

A: Comprehension - Answers
1. Shandong province, eastern China, 2.  sessions to allow men to experience the pain of childbirth by having electric shocks, 3. fathers-to-be, 4. It's free.

B: Reading For Specific Information - Sample Answers
2 - The sessions are offered two times a week.
100 - About 100 men have enrolled.
5 - The pain lasts for up to 5 minutes as the nurse applies an electric shock.
10 - The pain is rated on a scale from 1 to 10 and 10 is the most intense.
7 - Song Siling was able to last until the pain reached 7 on the scale.

C: Completing Sentences - Sample Answers
1. At the sessions the nurses place...electrodes on the abdomens of the men and give them electric shocks that are similar to contractions.
2. Most of the men who take part in the sessions...are expectant dads but some are 'thrill seekers'.
3. The organizers of the sessions hope that men who do the course may be...more sympathetic to their partners when they give birth because they realize how painful childbirth is.
4. After taking part in a session Wu Jianlong says...his views on childbirth have changed a lot.
5. In some hospitals in China men...are not allowed to stay with their partners when they are giving birth.

D: Vocabulary Hunt - Answers
1. sympathy, 2. device, 3. abdomen, 4. grimaced, 5. on-duty, 6. experience, 7. altered, 8. maximum.


English-To-Go teacher resources

© 1997-2015 English To Go Limited. All rights reserved. English-To-Go,, Instant Lessons, Instant Workbook, Weekly Warmer, Anna Grammar and Max Vocab are the registered trade marks of English To Go Limited. Other trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners and are used with permission.