As my youngest child is now over four, it has been a while since I have perused the range of products available to pregnant women. This may explain my utter shock when I saw an advert for the Babypod Vaginal Speaker.
For those of you who are as yet unaware of its existence, this is a system which enables you to play music to your child in the womb by inserting a speaker inside of yourself. That’s right. Because giving up alcohol, subjecting ourselves to regular blood tests and getting haemorrhoids isn’t enough. Now they're suggesting pregnant women stick a boom box up their front bottoms too.
I don't think so.
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to do everything I could to give my unborn child the best possible start in life. Before he was even conceived, I wouldn't let my husband so much as raise an eyebrow at me suggestively until I'd taken my folic acid capsule. I didn't eat anything from the banned food lists. No pâté. No blue cheese. No alcohol. I even got an earful from a waitress when I explained that my eggs were too runny and could she please cook them for longer. (She stomped off with my plate muttering how they didn’t have “all these funny ideas” in her day.)
Frequently I could be found singing to my bump, reading it stories and stroking it lovingly. I was almost late to work a couple of times because the baby was moving around and I didn’t want to stop its fun by getting out of bed. I was fortunate to have two pleasant pregnancies and I look back on those months with fond memories.
However, there are times during pregnancy when your body no longer feels like your own. Your skin is stretched so tightly it feels like shrink-wrap, your boobs are big and sore and the weight of your bump forces you to walk at a 45-degree angle. On top of that, you are getting undressed in front of more strangers that the staff at a brothel and, just like them, you begin to no longer care who is looking at your private parts.
But there has to come a time when we have to put up our hands and say, enough is enough. And surely that begins with the Babypod Vaginal Speaker.
For a start, I’d bet you a tube of Lasinoh nipple cream it was invented by a man. Quite a few pregnant women play music to their babies in the womb, but I doubt very much that any of them have ever thought, “I know where I’d like to put this speaker if I could.”
What will they ask of us next? Easy-to-swallow Lamaze toys to avoid baby getting bored in the amniotic sac? A rocking appliance to stick up our bottoms so that baby can be rocked gently whilst we watch TV? Milkshake powder dispensers to stick on our nipples so that baby can choose to take their breastmilk in chocolate or strawberry?
We need to stand together on this one and reclaim at least some control of our bodies and what we are expected to do with them. If these techno geeks want to put their brains to good use in order to help pregnant women, there are many other things I could suggest. Like a vitamin drink that tastes of Prosecco or a robot to help you roll yourself out of bed in the ninth month. As far as the Babypod goes, I can tell them exactly where they should think about sticking it.