After working with thousands of parents-to-be, social worker Linda Ware decided that lectures can go only so far in explaining the many changes a woman's body undergoes during pregnancy. So she designed The Empathy Belly, a 35-pound padded vest meant to bring the realities of pregnancy to wearers. Birthways Childbirth Resource Center, in Redmond, Wash., sells the vests to hospitals, schools, and clinics, which use them in counseling teens and expectant fathers.

-- Leslie Brokaw