Author Topic: How can you accelerate a pregnancy without making it sound ridiculous ?  (Read 559 times)  

Offline Cercei lannister

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 am creating a setting in which biomancy can be used to make childbearing easier on the mother. Biomancy is a form of magic that allows for the manipulation of certain biological processes. Midwives take the form of witches who specialize in childbirth-focused Biomancy magic. Some ways it can be used are as follows:

Widening the birth canal to make passage easier.
Reducing hemorrhaging and repairing tear.
Lessening pain from cramps and labour.

There is a particular trope called Express Delivery that talks about this very thing, but many examples come off as crazy or unrealistic because they don't take important things into account, and they just seem to work without any cost or adverse effects. The human body is capable of impressive acts, but such processes take a lot of time, and can take a toll on the body. There are hormonal and physical changes that the mother must go through. Nutrients that the child is made of must also be pulled from the mother for it to develop fully. 

The question is: how fast can the body safely adapt to these conditions without causing problems for mother and child? What can one do to alleviate these risks?

Offline AliceS

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I have something slightly similar, but with aliens. You could have them feed the mother pure life force which has quite a toll on the giver. Therefore it is only done in emergencies.


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Offline cecilia_writer

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I think it depends on whether you mean pregnancy or labour. It makes sense that pregnancy will take a while, unless you were to make your species take on the attributes of some animal where it is quicker (eg a panda or a marsupial where the young are very tiny), whereas labour may naturally happen quite quickly and easily even in humans.

Offline Douglas Milewski

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It can go as far as it can plausibly go, along with all the side-affects of that plausibility. That's a non-answer, I know, but that's the truth.

So yeah, you have a scroll of InstaBaby.

Exact genre matters. Over-the-top magic won't care. Comedy always serves comedy, not plausibility. Fantasy-horror makes a good idea all the worse. Adventure fantasy will find some excuse to speed things up. Time travel has already solved that problem. And so on.

If you want magic midwives, just drive towards plausibility, and add $$$ and lifetime problems if babies get born early, just like the real life nic-u's.

Disclaimer: I sell horribly. Set your filters accordingly.

Offline judygoodwin

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Are you talking about how to speed up a pregnancy, or speed up a delivery?

Unless you can speed up cell division and the building of new cells, pretty much anything is going to come across as unnatural, but then magic doesn't adhere to nature anyway. I'm not a biologist, so I wouldn't be able to offer any ideas, but that's basically what you need. As far as the delivery is concerned, all you'd need would be a faster production of the hormones that initiate the process (oxytocin), some major pain blocking of nerves (similar to an epidural), and whatever biological process opens the cervix. And that's if you want to be very technical. If you're in a pre-industrial setting, nobody's going to know any of this terminology anyways, so there's no point in going into that level of detail.
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Offline C. Gold

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I've read shifter series where the gestation is shorter (or longer). If the baby isn't human, then anything goes and doesn't sound weird.
I've read magic stories where the healing done accelerated the body's natural process and used up the host's energy. You could always go that route. Dangerous for the mom, but if the baby needs to develop faster, they can use magic to speed things up.

Offline Thoralene

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A time portal mistakenly introduced to the womb could cause the fetus to jump ahead developmentally by a given unit of time, though there would be a great risk of death to the mother depending on how far through time the unborn jumps.
Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

Offline WasAnn

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Given the conversion of calories, processes and processing, and extraction per ounce of baby, you'd have to create something that can do that without killing the mother. Growing a baby, shockingly enough, actually requires all the calories of an adult human body and is limited by billions of years of evolution to go only as fast as is possible.

So...yeah...biologically, not likely.

On the other hand, if you're talking magic, then have some baby growers with some kind of process for taking from grown humans some bits of what they need and focusing it on the mom.

That said, she's probably die anyway. Body adjustment for the mom needs to happen more slowly or you'll break her bones, rip her skin wide open, tear organs and all the rest. Imagine trying to grow that big belly and make that much room inside on short order.

Online MelanieCellier

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How much are you wanting to speed it up? Like are you trying to make it sound vaguely plausible that the whole thing takes a week? (That's going to be a hard sell.) Or are you just wanting to condense to something like 5 months instead of 9? I'm not a doctor, but I would think that with the aid of magic (which obviously follows your own rules) it would be possible to create a vaguely credible scenario to condense at least some of the process. So, for instance, while the mother's body does need time to stretch to fit the baby, it really doesn't even start growing for the first 12 weeks (the mother's body that is). So if you could magically speed up that early development of the baby, and magically prepare the mother's uterus and muscles to be ready to stretch and grow, then I think you could condense that bit. (I don't think you even need that many nutrients, etc at that first stage either. At least when I asked my dietitian if it mattered that I wasn't eating anything for weeks and weeks at a time, she said as long as I took my pregnancy multi-vitamin and started eating by the time the baby started growing bigger in the second trimester, it was all good.)

Overall, if you're speeding things up, I think a magical infusion of nutrients would be a necessary thing to include. (Either from some sort of magic-infused drink/food or possibly taken from multiple willing donors. Like maybe the father can contribute to help out, etc.) And also magical recovery (e.g. re toning of muscles, etc, if they've been unnaturally stretched).

The other thing to take into account is the mental process. While I'm sure many, many women would be delighted if the process took less than nine months (including me, haha), I doubt many of us would be ready for a new baby in a week (if that's the timeline you're thinking of).

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