Tweet by Elizabeth Yin
After thinking about this for a few days, I’ll wade into this one - as a mom and entrepreneur, I think this is a great idea and this would be life changing for so many people.
1) The #1 argument I’ve heard against this is that it hasn’t been done so it wouldn’t be safe now. But so many things we attempt also haven’t been done.
Fun fact - do you know how the baby incubator came about in the first place?
2) if you’re not familiar with the history of the baby incubator (and I mean - let’s be real who would be?), I highly recommend watching this episode:
3) The tl;dr is that baby incubators were originally invented to keep animals alive but no “real” medical professional thought it could be used in a hospital for ppl. Too much risk right?
4) Until a guy thought it would be great entertainment to bring these incubators into Luna Park, a Coney Island competitor, to attract more crowds. They needed a differentiator.
Crazy freak show type of stuff.
5) Turns out, in the process, Luna Park saved so many babies! This may actually be amusement parks’ best impact on humanity.
(Although many ppl also died from riding early untested rides at amusement parks)
Just amazing - we have baby incubators because of freak shows.
6) As a parent, I’ve spent 2 stints in the NICU, and if you’ve never spent time in there, the medical professionals in there are doing near-God’s work. They can save babies who are less than half term and less than 1 lb developed. Crazy!
7) And while I don’t think anyone would say the NICU is ready to incubate a baby from start, this is not a terrible starting pt given no one is actively working on this womb problem (as far as I’m aware).
There are also immediate use cases.
8) There are a lot of women who simply can’t have a baby. Yes they can find a surrogate.
That is another interesting topic for another day - there are marketplaces for surrogates and you can pick literally what you want. (Even whether they are covid vaccinated or not)
9) But surrogates are expensive. Often hundreds of thousands of dollars all in.
So this is the initial driver for artificial wombs - ppl who want a baby but cannot have one and cannot afford surrogates.
10) But after that, it’s inevitable it would go mainstream. If someone asked me would I want an artificial womb to carry my children? If it were safe, definitely!
In fact, it could be even safer than an actual person or myself who could trip or fall or get an infection.
11) It’s analogous to a self driving car. Yeah you could drive the car, but if there were a better option - more convenient, safer, more reliable, why wouldn’t you?
12) Not to mention if you haven’t been pregnant before, it’s not fun. You may feel sick half the time. You have back problems. You can’t sleep. You’re fatigued. And when you have all this, the rest of your life deteriorates.
13) Then there’s the birthing process. It’s hard to believe for all the medicine we have, there’s a serious risk in dying during birth. The US has one of the highest maternal mortality risks. 24 in 100k women die from giving birth.
14) That may not sound like a lot but those are the survivors. I have 1 female friend who died giving birth. But I have *many* friends who had crazy complications and got close to dying but got lucky and didn’t.
15) After that, you may have postpartum depression. You’re bleeding & hurting in private areas. You still can’t sleep if you’re breast feeding. Lack of sleep for months makes you go crazy.
Lack of sleep is a torture mechanism we use on prisoners.
That’s what we do w new moms.
16) This is the pt of parental leave. To heal from lack of sleep & pain in your private areas.
It’s *not* for fun to hang out w the baby.
It is a lot more *fun* to go to work as a non-parent than to be on parental leave after your baby is born.
17) But if you want to be a parent in today’s era, this is the sacrifice that you make. Go through the grueling pregnancy and birthing process & risks, and then don’t sleep for the next few months and hope you’re employer gives you enough leave or you can make ends meet.
18) Having been through the process myself - twice, I can understand why no woman would sign up for this given the choice.
And wealthy women do get surrogates - for this reason.
Artificial wombs are going to be a thing.