Essentially for my story my Evil Empire needs a constant and huge amount of new population to conscript for their armies. The way they accomplish this is by forcing every female member of society (aside from those in the Upper Courts that is) to continuously produce children.

With access to near-future technology, what is the largest amount of healthy children a mother could give birth to in her lifetime?

This can include using any manner of IVF or other technologies, the only requirement is that the offspring survives the birth in a healthy enough state to be able to grow to adulthood and hold a gun.

Also, considering the fact this is an evil empire, Ethics and Morals need not apply.

  • $\begingroup$ Impossible to say & any answer is going to be primarily opinion based, what your really asking for is "what ways might we go about maximizing births" -- lifespan? a lifetime is a non specific period of time, so is that an average lifetime? & if yes would that be average biblical, average modern south coast US or seventeenth century Ugandan average lifetimes? question needs more detail. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Apr 23, 2018 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ "to continuously produce children." Who's going to raise them? $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Apr 23, 2018 at 0:04
  • $\begingroup$ It's simple math: 9 months of pregnancy + 2 months of recovery is 11 months. The 31 (inclusive) years from 15 to 45 is 372 months, which is 34 pregnancies. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Apr 23, 2018 at 0:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @RonJohn : not so simple, not everyone hits menopause at 45, not everyone lives too 45, not everyone hits puberty at 15 (the average is nearer 11 by the way), plus OP specifies "near-future tech" & no "Ethics and Morals". So we've option on using drugs to induce puberty early & more to delay menopause, possible options on inducing pregnancy a month or two early so you can impregnate them again sooner plus of course fertility drugs to increase the instances of multiple births (twins, triplets, etc). With the question as given any answer can only be completely opinion based. $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Apr 23, 2018 at 0:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Here's the problem with this question. Either @RonJohn is right based on natural childbirth, or the answer is millions because the average woman is born with millions of eggs and futuretech is allowed to harvest them for test tubes. Since the number can be anything between 34 and millions depending on unspecified tech, the answer is POB. Frankly, if you need the people, you need to get the human out of the equation as quickly as possible. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:56

1 Answer 1


More than basic math applies here. If you haven't heard of Octomom, she's a mother from a few years back who was pregnant with eight babies at once, so that's physically possible, but the mother would not likely come back from that to give more births. With IVF, you can at least get quadruplets with every pregnancy with relative safety assuming good hospitals. Introducing hormones to the mother's diet can start puberty earlier, even as early as 9 in some existing reported cases. Also, immediately after pregnancy, there is a bit of recovery involved, but within a few weeks the mother is hyper-fertile.

So the calculation is closer to 10 months from one birth to the next, starting at age 9. 45 is a good maximum age; after that you're much more likely to get children with down syndrome.

(45-9) years * 12 months per year / 10 months per pregnancy * 4 babies per pregnancy = 172.8 babies. Yikes!

For reference, the world record is currently 69.

  • $\begingroup$ "(45-9) years * 12 months per year / 10 months per pregnancy * 4 babies per pregnancy = 172.8 babies. That's still basic math... $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:58
  • $\begingroup$ OP specified "healthy children", and a 9 year old won't be bearing too many healthy children. Hips just aren't wide enough. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:59
  • $\begingroup$ Well, basic math plus some basic biology. $\endgroup$
    – Ed Marty
    Apr 23, 2018 at 12:48
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    $\begingroup$ I don’t have the scientific knowledge to prove it, but with near-future technology it may be possible to improve child-bearing capability at a younger age. Although now that you bring it up, it is not likely that quadruplets are going to work at such a young age. Perhaps the mother would need to start off with singles, and slowly move up from there as she ages. $\endgroup$
    – Ed Marty
    Apr 23, 2018 at 12:56
  • $\begingroup$ Biology informs the math.. Your formula is nothing but a hyper-aggressive version of what I wrote in the comments. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Apr 23, 2018 at 12:57

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