A doctor is holding a glass ball with a stethoscope in it.

GriefSPEAK: The death of pregnancy – Mari Nardolillo Dias

by Mari Nardolillo Dias, EdD. contributing writer

I believe the majority of us are aware of the death of fatherhood in our country. “Deadbeat Dads” are numerous, and sociologists give poverty a gender feminine – due to the number of single mothers in existence today. Motherhood has been “safe”, albeit until recently.

In a video entitled “Ectolife: The World’s First Artificial Womb facility” one cannot escape the images of artificial womb pods for human babies in a factory with rows upon rows of metal womb pods. Artificial Intelligence monitors each baby for the duration of their development, including genetic abnormalities. The prototype can incubate 30,000 babies yearly.

How do the babies get into the pod in the first place? In vitro fertilization is used to create genetically superior embryos. The embryo is then placed in the growth pod. There is even an “Elite Package Option” for parents, which provides them the opportunity to customize eye and hair color, skin tone, height, weight, physical strength and intelligence. Sans labor and delivery, the push of a button will allow the parents to scoop up the newborn right out of the pod.

According to the creator, Al-Ghaili, “we are just a few short years away from creating a fully functional growth pod.” (Angela Rodriguez, IFA, 1/24/2023.) Thankfully, these factories do not yet exist, and when, not if, the pods may prove to be the answer to some parents’ prayers. For those where artificial insemination, adoption and other avenues prove fruitless, the womb pods may be the answer. For others there is both a human and ethical dilemma.

Developmental Psychologists offer views of the bonding of mother and fetus in utero. Behaviorists would argue that the bonding occurs after birth, in skin-to-skin touch and nurturing. Whether you side with one or another, the concept of pregnancy (with all its trials and joy), along with labor and delivery are nature’s way. For humans and animals alike. Yet, new technologies are not developed in the interest of nature, but rather in reducing the carbon imprint, increasing populations, fertility, etc. 

If you haven’t read Huxley’s prophetic  “Brave New World”, I implore you to read it. If you have read it, read it again. As scientist Ian Malcolm stated in “Jurassic Park”, “…scientists are so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” 

I’d welcome your thoughts?


Dr. Mari Nardolillo Dias is a nationally board-certified counselor, holds a Fellow in Thanatology and is certified in both grief counseling and complicated grief. Dias is a Certified death doula, and has a Certificate in Psychological Autopsy.

She is Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Master of Science program, Johnson & Wales University. Dias is the director of GracePointe Grief Center, in North Kingstown, RI.  For more information, go to:

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