Male Pregnancy Becomes Possibility

Published: Aug. 29, 2003 at 8:43 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2003 at 12:23 AM CST
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Web Producer: Brad Maglinger

The logistics of it all haven't been figured out, but something happened earlier this month that made the concept of male pregnancy a real possibility.

A miracle baby was born in Canada, and the circumstances surrounding the delivery have researchers speculating, women cheering and men running for cover.

Typically, mom practices for the big day, while dad provides support. But there may come a day when these traditional roles are reversed, thanks to a miracle baby.

When doctors in Montreal performed an emergency C-section on the baby's mom, they discovered the baby had been growing in her abdomen rather than her uterus.

Researchers say this proves a baby doesn't need a womb, so the possibility exists that all those non-womb-bearing humans could potentially give birth.

Daddies-to-be in a prepared childbirth class are getting a taste of what it would be like to carry a baby. The pressure on the bladder, all that extra weight and the even the inability to tie your own shoes.

Bruce Coy describes the experience, "I'm used to being able to bend at the middle and with this you can't really do that."

"The bladder is the hard part. It pushes down in some strange places," says daddy-to-be Bob Maxedon.

Some scientists see no reason why a man couldn't have an embryo implanted in his abdomen. Gestation would last the usual nine months and then delivery would happen with a C-section. Perhaps there are no scientific obstacles, just psychological ones.

"I wouldn't want to go through it. Let's put it that way," Maxedon says.

"Personally, I don't think I could go through what they're going through," says Coy. "As much pain and suffering they're going through during that nine months. I couldn't do it."

Men, before you head for the hills, keep in mind the birth of this baby in Canada is really a fluke. Abdominal ectopic pregnancies occur in only one in 10,000 cases and they almost always end tragically for baby and sometimes even mom. Only about a dozen such babies have survived outside the womb.