Baby delivery by sheer force?

Meaning, is it physically possible for a baby to be eject from the mother’s womb by something like:

(a) An abrupt stop (like a bungee jump except of course with a much less stretchy cord)?

(b) Being squeezed like a giant grape?


© Being in an automobile accident and having some part of the car smack the abdomen really hard?

I ask because I’m doing some short story writing (not professionally, just for kicks) and one of my ideas involves a child literally popping out of the womb unnaturally; I want it to at least be possible if not plausible…

The amount of force needed to do that would undoubtable rupture the uterus, tear the hell out of the vagina, and no doubt explode the perineum to shreds, rendering the normal anatomy down there into an enormous cloaca (combination birth canal and exit route for feces). I don’t see the mom surviving it. The infant’s head would take serious damage too.

I’ve struggled hard enough in the past to slow a normal delivery down enough to avoid huge perineal lacerations.

So, no. Not in any meaningful, surviveable way.

Ow, ow, ow, ow.


If you don’t care if your mother survives, I think it’d be more plausible to suffer a gash to the abdomen that, by mere chance, doesn’t go deep enough to cut the baby but cuts through the skin, abdominal muscle and uterine wall c-section style, allowing the baby to plop out, perhaps dangling from the umbilical cord until the placenta detached. I’d almost think it impossible, were it not for the fact that untrained psycho baby snatchers manage to do it with a pair of scissors occasionally. Then again, it’d have to be a much larger cut than the surgeons do, because it takes them a lot of stretching and tugging to wriggle the baby out of there.

Um…psycho snatchers of babies, not snatchers of psycho babies. Adjectives are tricky sometimes.

There was an episode of *Star Trek: Voyager *in which a woman was having a difficult delivery, and the Doctor simply beamed the baby out of her. But until we have transporters, any of your other options are really bad (fatal for both the woman and baby) options.


OK, thanks for the info!

One of our crews in my EMT days was on a car accident where a woman in labor was being rushed to the hospital. They ran a red light and hit the side of a bus probably going 50-60mph. Pregnant mom was not wearing her seatbelt and was ejected through the windsheild and slammed into the side of the bus.

Thats some pretty serious force being applied and baby was still in.

At end end of the my wife’s long, long delivery, they had to use suction. At the same time, they had a doctor pushing on her abdomen. Our OB said that pushing wrong would seriously hurt the baby and there is a special method used.

This was also with the cervix completely dialated and the head down into the birth canal. The cervix doesn’t readily dialate, and a sudden shock wouldn’t open in smoothly.

(forensic pathologist hat off, pediatric pathologist hat on)

Completely agree with Quadgop, Whynot, and TokyoPlayer.

(reversing hats)

There is an old case recorded in I think Knight’s Forensic Pathology of a woman who became pregnant and did not wish to be, so she asked her workingman husband to stomp her in the belly with his hobnail boots to kill the baby. He was willing, and he stomped and stomped, and she died from the stomping (much to both their surprise), but the baby did not come out. At autopsy the baby was still intact and attached to the placenta, which is tightly attached to the inside wall of the uterus. The baby was dead only because the mother had died; all the stomping had not loosened up its attachment to the mother in any way.

There’s a reason why birth takes a while. Molding of the head, made possible by the patent sutures (loosely connected skull plates with gristle between them). Slow passage of the infant out the tight birth canal. Separation of the mature placenta, expulsion thereof. I think your best bet is to use Whynot’s idea (if you haven’t abandoned the idea already…).

Woman’s last words: "Oh! I’m dead! What a surp – "

Which brings up another question: I read in bio of Sharon Tate that (amazingly, considering all the wounds she received), her fetus (8-1/2 months) was not harmed at all, but died “about twenty minutes after her death.” What actually kills a healthy fetus when the mother dies?

All right, I knew somebody would call me on that. It would have to be you, wouldn’t it.

“Eve! Why did it have to be - Eve!!!”
(Darling, because it just had to - The Cosmos)

Lack of oxygen. They breathe through their umbilical cords, you know. If the mother stops supplying oxygenated blood, because her heart has stopped beating… it’s just like being a deep-sea diver dependent on a hose to a surface oxygen source run by a motor to pressurize it, when the motor stops.

Having a maternal blood pressure of zero is quickly followed by a fetal blood pressure of zero, too.

I’m surprised the fetus died so many minutes after her death; I wonder how they estimated that. Bearing in mind that “death” isn’t usually one moment but a process protracted over minutes, it may be related to their definition of death. In women I have autopsied who underwent witnessed collapse at 8 to 9 months of pregnancy, arrival of EMS within three minutes and immediate medical care did not result in a living baby. An OB/GYN of experience said to my colleague once that in such situations, Julius Caesar situations you might call them, they save maybe five in a hundred babies, and four out of those five are hopeless vegetables who die within a few months from the birth asphyxia.

I’m going with “wild-ass guess on part of biographer who didn’t have the sense to consult someone like gabriela.”

This maybe isn’t what the OP was wondering about but this is similar:
In EMT class, we saw a video of an explosive delivery. It was in a hospital environment and everything was nominal. All of a sudden…POP…A Baby!! It was literally a half a second from barely crowning to completely delivered. The instructor had to rewind the video since some in the class missed it during the first time. Somehow, the baby didn’t fall to the ground.

The difference between this and what the OP was talking about is that the baby was already crowning, which means the cervix was already dilated, the baby down the birth canal and the uterus was having (obviously very forceful and productive) contractions. In fact, it was probably the force of the uterine contraction which popped the baby out like a corkgun.

But if the cervix ain’t open, you’re just not going to be able to force something through it without major damage.

Lot of other variable there too like number of babies this woman has had before and familial history of easy deliveries. You can also have errors on the part of the staff in assessing amount of dialation, its not like they stick a ruler up there. Some women are just built for it, some need major assistance. Once baby crowns it can go pretty quick, my wife Cyn used to work L&D and has seen moms in labor that she checked and swears they were dialated to 5cm, immediately went to lunch, and they delivered before she got back 35-40 min later.

One of her favorite sayings is “Never trust a pregnant woman”.

Oh yeah, I had one of those drachillix, a lady in labour with her second, expecting a long-ish labour because her first had been over 12 hours.

Arrived in hospital at 9am, 4 hours down the line, still 4cm, asked for an epidural, told it was too early, midwife went for a coffee break, I (med student) got left to watch her. Suddenly noticed the contractions going from 20 to about 100 on the monitor, and that her pain was worse, called the midwife back…whadaya know no time for that epidural and baby was born before 10:30.

Gosh Irishgirl and Drachillix you’re bringing back memories. The droll second-year resident where I was a medical student told us on the first day of OB/GYN, “Our multips [multiparas - women who have borne multiple times] can give birth at the speed of sound. Have you ever seen the dents in the far wall of the delivery room?”

He was joking, of course.

I also remember his lecture on The Only Important Thing in OB: Catch the Baby. Do Not Drop the Baby.

Sometimes it goes the other way 'round, re. the multips.

These two sisters got pregnant within days. The first one had her boy, the second one went to visit. They called the nurse during the visit. By the time the nurse arrived (less than five minutes!), the sister who’d given birth two days before was holding her newborn niece and saying whatdoIdowiththis!
Next baby from this woman took 3 hours. The third took 8. The fourth and last was one of those long deliveries that OB-GYNs have nightmares about…