We live in an age of incredible innovation and development, one of which is The EctoLife Artificial Womb Facility. The controversial idea envisions a new way to be pregnant, with the baby growing in an ideal but wholly artificial environment. The so-called growing pods are transparent, temperature-controlled capsules with an umbilical cord for receiving oxygen and nutrition.
This birthing facility can produce up to 30,000 babies yearly, potentially solving the world’s low birth rate.
The life-like video displaying the concept was created by Hashem Al-Ghaili, a film producer and biotechnologist, to spark a dialogue about such technology that would allow women who had their uterus removed to give birth, reduce premature deliveries, and counteract population losses.
Of course, the Berlin-based producer’s portrayal is still highly hypothetical. There are no plans to create an EctoLife center in the near future, based on Al- Ghaili’s current levels of fertility research.
Pregnancy is not at all an easy phase. The overall experience is nothing short of draining, even excruciating at times. Nausea, vomiting, fevers, and so much your body does during pregnancy are unprecedented. Also, pregnancy can turn out to be fatal for the mother.
Al Ghalili is of the opinion that “Science is not far off from being able to replicate the ideal gestation conditions in a temperature-controlled, infection-free womb with a view.” The see-through womb is not it; an artificial umbilical cord would provide oxygen and nutrition as the tot floats in artificial amniotic fluid. Baby waste products can also be removed, run through a bioreactor, and enzymatically converted back into “a steady and sustainable supply of fresh nutrients.”
Little speakers would ensure that the child from a very young age listens to soothing music and the parent’s voice to forge a strong bond. Additionally, a child’s vitals will be continuously monitored instead of periodically. The child’s development would also be monitored via a mobile app, and with the help of an HD fetus cam, a timelapse of your child’s development would also be available at the end of the nine months.
If you think this would not provide mothers with an intimate feeling of pregnancy, Al Ghalili has more tricks to calm you down up his sleeves. For instance, if you feel you’d miss out on the feeling of the baby kicking, then a haptic suit can bring that sensation back for any parent that wants it, and only when they want it.
This pod facility provides the mothers with a fresh and energetic start to the new phase of their lives. Instead of being weighed down and physically tarnished at the end of the pregnancy, mothers will be well-rested and up for the task. This would definitely be different from billions of mothers that have given birth before the pod technology, but this would be amazing for mums to be. And hands down, mums would opt for pushing a button to give birth instead of going through the misery of labor.
This technology will initially be for parents who can not naturally conceive but, in time, will be available for all prospective parents. We are sure that after some time, this technology will refine and advance, becoming an attractive option for parents who want babies but are not ready to go through the ordeals of pregnancy.
This technology would assist you in ways you have never imagined. No days off, no pregnancy leaves, and no disruption in your everyday life. Walk down to the baby pod one fine evening, and tada, you are parents. Ectolife will also provide new parents with genetic testing to ensure that parents head home with the right baby.
While the video is only a concept, Al-Ghaili claims it is based on “50 years of groundbreaking scientific study undertaken by researchers worldwide,” and that such birthing pods might be common in “just decades.”