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Sunday, February 01, 2004

Since when did humans have litters?

I was hearing on the radio about another woman who gave birth to many babies in one pregnancy. This is more and more common these days with the advent of in vitro fertilization(IVF). Surely, this treatment achieves for many the dream of having a baby that they couldn't otherwise have. However, this treatment is hardly perfect, and perhaps there should be more controls on it than there are, at least until the technique is perfected more.

Besides the fact that babies born from this method tend to have more problems generally, it hit me last night that it just doesn't sound right. Since when did humans have litters of babies? That's literally what's happening these days. Human females having litters. I mean, I've heard of a cat having a litter of kittens, or a dog having a litter of puppies. These species naturally have a high occurrence of multiple births. It is something that they were made to do and the females are made to handle this in order to survive. But I don't think a human female was created to handle six or seven babies floating around in her womb. Crazy.

People have not used this perspective very often and take these occurrences as mere oddities, but joyful ones, since so much life is being brought into the world. I think it's great when babies are born, and I want to have some of my own, when I get a wife.

But perhaps we should consider the impact of this unnatural occurrence in our females when they are subjected to supporting so many inside themselves. And each baby must be under more stress if it is trying to sustain itself among so many others. Scientists have studied these things, and evidently have found that women and babies are able to handle these situations, which is why it's legal. And of course there have been successful multiple births. I just think it's a little weird that humans are giving birth like dogs or cats when we are generally made to only house one or maybe two babies at a time.

As further evidence of the imperfections of IVF, read this article on irregularities of single-baby IVF births. I'm not suggesting to get rid of this treatment all together, but just to have more restrictions on it until it is improved so these pregnancies will mirror natural ones more closely.

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