In Deep Space 9 s4e25 Body Parts, Keiko is injured. Keiko is also pregnant with her and Miles O'Brien second child. The injury introduces complications and puts the fetus at risk. The Doctor at hand has only one choice. Transfer the baby to a new womb to save both the child and mother. In the end, an alien, Major Kira of Bajor, becomes the surrogate. This itself causes some complications but that's beside the point.

My question comes from a line the doctor gives while explaining the situation to Miles and Commander Sisko.

The only available people were Major Kira, and me.

Obviously the choice for the Major was made because surgery on yourself is risky. But Doctor Bashir seemed completely matter of fact when he mentioned himself as an option. It didn't seem like a joke or anything.

So my question is, was this meant to mean that he really was, had it been required, been able to carry the child? was there any clarification by word of god?

  • 2
    And no, Tripp's alien parasite thing doesn't count.
    – cde
    Nov 14, 2016 at 3:53

1 Answer 1


While nothing definitive can be determined, I would say "yes they could probably do it" - as a guess, and "no", the show clearly implies that a woman is the more logical choice. The dialogue implies that a man carrying a child would not be a first choice. That doesn't mean it "couldn't" be done only that it wouldn't be considered if are female options.

That said, it can be read either way that Bashir is the doctor, he couldn't perform surgery on himself" and, "he's a man so he's not an option", but while both are probably true, I think the second is the primary point in the conversation.

The conversation is with Captain Sisko after they return, O'Brien is there too, to interject a few "whats", but it's basically a conversation with Sisko.

BASHIR: Kira almost had us clear of the asteroid field, and then the deflectors became overwhelmed. We were side-swiped by a rock the size of this room. A fuel pod exploded and Keiko was thrown against the bulkhead. She had a concussion, broken ribs, internal haemorrhaging. I managed to stabilise her but the baby's autonomic functions were failing. I had to find another womb for the baby, and the only two people available were Major Kira and me.

SISKO: I think you made the right choice, Doctor.

O'BRIEN: But the Major's Bajoran. How can she carry a human child?

BASHIR: I had to stimulate Kira's estrogen and progesterone production, and administer high doses of tesokine to enable the baby to metabolise Bajoran nutrients.

SISKO: But the bottom line is it worked, right?

BASHIR: Right.

O'BRIEN: So, when will Keiko will be strong enough to take the baby back?

BASHIR: Well, Keiko should be up on her feet in a day or two. However, the baby

O'BRIEN: What?

BASHIR: Major Kira will have to carry the baby to term. You see, Chief, Bajoran women carry their children for less than five months. Because they have such a short gestation period, they vascularise very quickly. Mother and child form a complex interconnecting network of blood vessels. In order to transfer the baby back to Keiko, I would have to sever those ties, which would likely cause massive internal haemorrhage in Kira and a severe respiratory trauma for the baby.

O'BRIEN: So, what you're telling me is that Major Kira's going to have my baby?

This all sounds like typical Startrek banter/sarcasm to me. "The only people available were Kira and Me", meaning, both, he couldn't perform the surgery on himself and being a guy, he wasn't a good option.

This is confirmed by Sisko's "I think you made the right choice". Which to me implies, "women carry the babies", even in the 24th century.

That being said, it could be interpreted either way, but I think women carry the babies is the likely implication. I also see no reason why, given all their medical advancement, they couldn't do the surgery to enable a man to carry and give birth by giving the man the necessary organs to carry, if a guy really wanted that, so I think the technology could and probably does exist, but I think the implication of the show is that it's not the ideal choice. Women are better at it, even a woman from another species, so Kira was the obvious choice because she's a woman.

  • But what did the production staff have to say about it? I'm looking for proof not just conjecture.
    – cde
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:23
  • 1
    As to Sisko reply, I sense it was more to do with the right thing was performing the transfer in the first place, instead of letting the baby die, nor regarding the choice of person. The scene had no humor in it, and was treated as the serious medical discussion it was meant to be.
    – cde
    Nov 14, 2016 at 13:32
  • @CDE you're right. Reading your question more carefully, you did specify that clearly. My bad.
    – userLTK
    Nov 14, 2016 at 15:33

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