Claire was able to give birth on the Island because she had conceived her child off the Island. However, no women who were impregnated on the Island could complete the term / give birth, and all died.

Why? What is the significance of this? If he Island is supposed to be a place where "your problems get fixed (Rose's cancer, Locke's paralysis)", why wouldn't the natural process of child birth be purposefully impeded?

4 Answers 4


The Island somehow strengthens the immune system of people on it, and provides some other healing capabilities. The issue with pregnancy, which I think Juliet explained, was that the amped up immune system mistook pregnancy for a disease. The immune system would interfere with normal pregnancy, resulting in a miscarriage. People who got pregnant off-Island would not have those complications, and by the time the Island's effects kicked in, they would give birth.

  • But why doesn't the immune system see Claire's pregnancy as a disease like the other women? What difference does it make where the child is conceived? Aug 18, 2012 at 23:26
  • @ChanelleRactliffe The show never goes into such specific detail, sorry.
    – user209
    Aug 18, 2012 at 23:36
  • @ChanelleRactliffe That's what they were trying to figure out in the show too. They were conducting research to solve this problem.
    – Tony
    Apr 2, 2013 at 19:56


The series epilogue The New Man in Charge explains that the Island's electromagnetism damages the mother and baby during the first part of the pregnancy.

Dr. Chang: Affix this tracking device around the subject's neck. At which point it will be transported to the Orchid station for the next phase of research. Remember, be sure to confirm that the female bears have not been impregnated before transport, as the electromagnetic levels at the Orchid have an extremely harmful effect on early term gestation.

This also explains who Claire was able to give birth on the Island, as she had become pregnant off the Island, months before.


It was never directly addressed on the show. However, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse have hinted on the podcast that perhaps the detonation of Jughead during the Incident had some effect on pregnant women on the island. Hence, we see why Ethan was conceived and born there without problems, while many others died in the middle of the term.

In the epilogue "The New Man in Charge" during the part in the Dharma factory where they watch the orientation video about the Hydra, Pierre Chang says that the polar bears working at the Orchid station may experience pregnancy issues. This suggests that perhaps the island power source itself (a part of which formed the power behind the Orchid station) caused pregnancy issues, perhaps at will, perhaps randomly. Maybe this was intensified by the detonation of Jughead? We may never know exactly.

One must not forget that Jin and Sun conceived on the island, and Sun gave birth off the island. For that, and the fact that the creators have stated it clearly, they were not dead the whole time, this rumor must end.


Well they were already dead / in heaven. I guess you can't create new life in death.

  • 1
    This is just a theory of what The Island actually is. If you can expand this beyond a single sentence, I'm sure it will actually make some sense.
    – Tablemaker
    Aug 20, 2012 at 14:25
  • 1
    Ehm... wasn't this the answer at the ending of the series? But yeah; my answer includes some disappointment about the ending of Lost; so I guess the downvote is well deserved ;)
    – kluka
    Aug 20, 2012 at 19:14
  • 4
    No, the answer at the end of the series was that it was all real. Only the alternate-reality scenes from season 6 took place after they all died. Aug 20, 2012 at 21:37
  • The island was real. What happens at the end of the series is in the future. Years after the REAL events that occurred on the REAL island. The only part that wasn't in the "real world" were the "flash sideways" sequences that are part of Season 6 episodes.
    – sanpaco
    Jun 10, 2016 at 21:35

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