Bad Products: Babypod

I’ve added a new category to this blog: Bad Products. It’s going to experience some overlap with the “It’s Tactical!” stuff but that can’t be helped. (insert your own Venn Diagram)

I’ve watched a few documentaries about Chinese factory-workers that spend their entire lives assembling garbage products for Americans; probably the most memorable was one horror-show about people making and painting christmas decorations. [Also, if you haven’t seen the movie “Manufactured Spaces” it’s got some amazing views of Foxconn plants] I can easily imagine that if I were on the production end of the American product-cycle, I would hold a deep, passionate, contempt for the wealthiest civilization on Earth, that desperately seeks ever cheaper manufacturing for tons of landfill-bait garbage.

Like Babypod. [bp] What is it? It’s a bluetooth wireless speaker you can stick up your vagina when you’re pregnant (that’s for sure going to be super comfortable!) and play music to your fetus while it’s gestating. It even has endorsements, so you know it’s good:

It has been awarded by Harvard University and by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It also has the approval of the FDA.


Ig Nobel 2017 Winner

I’m not sure what “awarded” means, though.

It’s hypoallergenic and a bunch of stuff like that, but I have to wonder about, um, bio-goo sticking in the speaker holes and becoming a little bacteria farm over time.

I’m pretty sure this was designed, built, and conceived of by guys. Guys who have never been pregnant and who buy absurd pop psychology theories about fetal development.

What if it actually did work? What if the mother fell asleep with the thing playing and the rotation on their phone played Leonard Cohen’s You Want It Darker? on infinite repeat? Or what about one of my favorites, The Sisters of Mercy? What would happen to a kid who gestated listening to Floodland?

Usually, when I am looking at a questionable product, my thinking begins and ends with “who do I sue?” This is so bad I’m surprised it doesn’t come from GOOP.


  1. Ice Swimmer says

    The capitalist sibling product of Soviet butt buzzer (which doesn’t fit in your butt and doesn’t buzz).

  2. bmiller says

    reminds me, as so many things do, of the Prophet George Carlin and his rant on fat Americans wearing fanny packs whipping out their credit cards to buy “shoes with lights on them”.

  3. Peter B says

    Ain’t Bluetooth grand. For the ladies a remote control vaginal stimulator. And men are not to be denied with the remote control vagina. I haven’t looked but IIRC, it can be used in conjunction with live video. I suppose it’s the ultimate when it comes to safe sex.

  4. sonofrojblake says

    “What would happen to a kid who gestated listening to Floodland?”

    Well I’d hang out with them, if they wanted to. I’d certainly hang out with their mum.

    A kid/mum whose womb rocked to Billy Ray Cyrus… maybe not so much.

  5. johnson catman says

    Yeah, because putting a small speaker externally on your baby-bump wouldn’t be quite as effective, huh? (/s)

  6. brucegee1962 says

    The products about whose manufacture I always wonder are the blue jeans that you can buy in stores pre-ripped. So in some far-off country, people (probably kids) are making perfectly good pairs of pants, then half-destroying them (drastically reducing their lifespan) in order to sell them to Americans. What must they be thinking of us?

  7. Dunc says

    brucegee1962, I’m just waiting for somebody to start selling smartphones with pre-cracked screens…

  8. Reginald Selkirk says

    Could be worse. Imagine a TACTICAL baby pod. Carbon fiber frame. Titanium alloys. Full camo.

  9. komarov says

    I’d nominate god’s away on business to set the tone for a charmingly upbeat childhood. The youtube cookie monster version is amazing but sadly not something you can fully enjoy in utero – unless someone wants to take the advertised product to the next level.

    Re: #6

    My first thought was that you could make a lot more money and move a lot more units by marketing an overdesigned, overpriced belt that did pretty much that. On second thought, there are probably largish consumer groups with the belief that good things, particularly health-related, must involve some discomfort. That trend probably only gets worse when it comes to pregnancy and babies. You didn’t have a surgically implanted 3d cinema playing classical music to the fetus when you were pregnant?! No wonder they’re not a supergenius. Worst parent ever…

  10. brucegee1962 says

    @6 and @10,
    What kind of twisted bizarro world do you live in, that you would make the assumption that overdesigned, overpriced belt baby sound systems didn’t already exist? Of course they do. The vaginal version is the just the logical extension of a thriving market.
    Go to amazon and type in “fetal music,” and you can compare the features between Wavhello bellybuds, Bellytunes, Babybump headphones, Womb music, Bumpinbaby, Pixie Tunes, and Lulabelly prenatal music belt. Sweetie songs is a red herring, though — it’s an audio system that lets you listen to your fetus rather than the other way around.

  11. komarov says

    Neither of us made that assumption, actually. Thanks to rampant consumerism (see illustration above) there is no such thing as “market saturation” either. There’s always room to grow (economics said so because otherwise it doesn’t work). But I’ll take your word on the current marketplace, if only because I don’t want this stuff to haunt my “targeted advertising” rota for the next month or two. Gosh, it’s almost as if the ads are having the exact opposite effect…

  12. says

    Well, remember that babies become drastically more intelligent when their mothers listen to Mozart during pregnancy, so what monster are you to make your kid stupid on purpose? It’s probably child neglect if you don’t buy such a device. No, I don’t care if you’re uncomfortable with having something shoved up your vagina*, lady. Whose body do you think that is?
    Believe me, there’s no end of pregnant people shaming for every little thing they do or don’t do.

    *Funny enough, shoving something potentially unclean up your vagina while pregnant may actually increase your risk of premature birth dramatically…

  13. says

    Giliell @#13

    Believe me, there’s no end of pregnant people shaming for every little thing they do or don’t do.

    You don’t even need to be pregnant in order to experience this kind of shaming. I once went to a shop in order to buy a bottle of beer and a pack of cigarettes. The cashier shamed me about how I am harming my future children.

    Notes: (1) cigarettes were for my uncle, personally I do not smoke; (2) that was a small beer bottle, one cannot even get drunk on that little alcohol; (3) I have never been pregnant and I’m sterilized; moreover, I have been thin all my life so nobody could possibly mistake me for being pregnant.

  14. says


    Also, there was one more occasion. When I was 20, my university’s debate club organized a public debate about alcohol and whether young people should be legally allowed to drink it already at 18 or only at 21. I defended the position that anybody who is at least 18 should be free to buy and drink as much alcohol as they want, I talked about individual freedom and so on. After the debate, one elderly lady from the audience started loudly and publicly shaming me about how I am harming my future children. My male friends from our debate club who were my age and also were arguing for the same position as me didn’t get any similar shaming whatsoever (there were 8 people in that debate, 4 on each side; back then I still lived as a woman and all other debaters on my side were men).

  15. klatu says

    Maybe someone out there is running a new kind of intelligence test? …No, wait. That’s on November 3.

  16. says

    Yeah, but believe me, being visibly pregnant takes it to a whole new level. You don’t even get to drink orange juice without people having opinions on it, loud and in your face.

  17. says

    Giliell @#18

    but believe me, being visibly pregnant takes it to a whole new level.

    Yeah. For example, I have heard stories about visibly pregnant people who had to deal with waiters who refused to serve them coffee or ice cream with a tiny amount of alcohol in it.

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