Friday, November 04, 2011

C-section 2035

November 4, 2035 (TGB News): Recent advances in obstetric medicine have led to the first company offering fully independent births. NuBirth Inc claims to offer the first safe extra-corporeal pregnancy. According to company literature,

"Women no longer have to suffer the pain and suffering pregnancy and the changes in wardrobe and lifestyle this means for them. For the first time in human history women no longer must suffer the problems and health risks of childbirth."

The procedure, according to the company, involves the non-surgical removal of the egg from the woman within 48 hours of conception, and placing it in an hybrid artificial womb partially grown from stem cells previously harvested from mother. Parents can then watch their infant develop in real time through a glass enclosure. Data on vital signs and development is sent directly to the electronic lifestyle enhancer of their choice.

Normal human gestation, like natural methods, still takes about nine months. However, a company spokesperson said NuBirth was also close to commercialising a safe accelerated birth system, which would halve the normal human gestation period. The company claims this will further reduce the impact of the gestation process on people's lives. 

"No more nine month's of waiting in today's busy lives! Soon you can have your newborn in your arms in nearly half the time!"

Ok, far be it from me to pontificate on how women should handle their pregnancies and bodies, but the idea of an optional C-section without a medical reason alarms me.  It speaks to the further sanitisation and numbing of our lives, as if we're not actually meant to feel anything even remotely uncomfortable or painful, or simply accept the fact we grow old. It's got to be all youthful pleasure or nothing, like those non-stop pharmaceutical adverts you see on US television channels. The designer birth seems like yet another manifestation of this.


sassy said...

That will certainly raise the unemployment rate amongst handmaidens.

CathiefromCanada said...

This strikes me as fantasy or a fundraising scam, but that said, if you've never been pregnant don't knock how difficult, uncomfortable and stressful it is. Women used to die in childbirth regularly, and certainly the stress of multiple pregnancies was a major factor in female health.
As far as the baby is concerned, the most dangerous journey most of us will ever take is the 5 inches down the birth canal!

Boris said...

Um, Cathie, the first part of the post is fictitious. If you click the bolded text you'll find out where I'm coming from with it.

CathiefromCanada said...

Sorry, I'm dim today.

Boris said...

No worries, it was a little puzzle anyway. :)

Edstock said...

2035? Should be doable, 24 years from now, and certainly within 50 years.

Right now, building the support matrix to serve as a placenta is the challenge. Progress is being made.

Niles said...

So, instead of investing monies into the lives, health and education of women and shifting cultural priorities so pregnancy isn't seen as an ickygross wimmins thing that -wastes-time-of-important-people-who-tend-not-to-be-women, they'd rather invest billions in vats and dispense with worrying themselves about women altogether, especially if they combine it with not needing eggs.

Yeah, that sounds about right for the storyline. And then who controls the population from the most basic moments of life. A corporatist profit model? Nothing bad ever comes of that.

And then at some point any woman who has a baby using her own biology, outside a vat, will be seen as gross and crude.

Next comes hey, we have this technology, let's build clone soldiers and workers and own the genetic material.

I'd like to think I'm approaching stupid paranoia on this, but recent history makes me very jaded and cynical.

Niles said...

Likely didn't make myself clear. I realize the first part is a fictional prediction. I think the world would be helped more by actually emphasizing and empowering women to make decisions about themselves, their medical needs and how they are prioritized in society. What support are women getting around pregnancies and birth so Ceasarian surgery isn't seen as a 'quick' and 'efficient' feature?

That said, sometimes extra-vaginal delivery like a c-section surgery causes LESS injury to a birthing woman than 'virtuous' biological effort. Educating women and enabling their medical options is great, so long as it goes far enough to not just put more pressure on them to be 'modern'.