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Bumpaholics: Addicted to Being Pregnant

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More into getting knocked up than knockin' boots? Experts say some gals have a preggo jones.

pregnany belly

Vivian Manning-Schaffel: It's no duh the Madonna complex has been revered throughout history. Now that Hollywood has helped turn celebrity baby-watching into big-brand-spawning business, pregnancy is more glam than ever. The world loves a preggo, and the preggos love the perks, including loads of attention, a pass on the ladies' room line, the power to command a guilt-free midnight ice cream run, and in my case, a seat on the subway.

Some even say pregnancy can be as addictive as any drug. This Women's Health magazine article by Martha Brockenbrough states, "Some women may like being pregnant a little too much, often driven to rapidly reproduce out of insecurity, a craving for attention, or feelings of abandonment by their own parents."

"Women who are obsessed with being pregnant are literally filling an emptiness inside of them, just as alcoholics and drug addicts use substances to fill a psychological void," says Beverly Hills psychiatrist Carole Lieberman, M.D. Every one of us at some point encounters this void, adds New York family therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil, Ph.D., author of Financial Infidelity. "You want to have a purpose in this world. You want to feel less lonely."

Just look at Nadya Suleman, a.k.a. Octomom, who recently copped to the fact that she kept getting knocked up to fill an emotional need that she couldn't satisfy with a romantic relationship. As she reportedly told one journalist, "I just longed for certain attachments with another person that I really lacked." But herein lies a very expensive question: Who's going to pay the recently estimated $220K to raise each of those cuties? Sure, one could argue that love is the most important thing, but love alone doesn't pay the rent or the grocery bills incurred by 14 kids. And we can't all strike reality show deals, now can we?

So what does one do to rehab this overwhelming urge to nurture? Will Bumpaholics Anonymous meetings become the hot trend du jour? I've noticed that, around the time a mother's youngest turns two, this intense nostalgia for babyhood tends to kick in. For some, it might be part of a wistful acknowledgement that their baby-making days are over. For others, it might be a signal to hit the sheets.

Personally, I found pregnancy fun and exciting, but I also found it stressful, uncomfortable, and downright scary at times. Which is why, after baking two buns in the oven, I decided to officially close my kitchen. What say you, readers? Do you happen to know anyone who is addicted to having babies?


next: N.J. Teacher Fined $22G for Personal Call in Class
24 comments so far | Post a comment now
b August 13, 2009, 10:53 AM

I don’t think I’m addicted to pregnancy, certainly not the misery that comes with it; but, I do admit that once my daughter and son were born, I felt a sense of loss at the thought of not being pregnant. (And that’s not to say that I didn’t adore having new borns! Because I did!) But there’s something special about being able to feel life inside of you and something exciting about the anticipation of a new baby. It’s like the Christmas season of the human life cycle. :)

Katie August 13, 2009, 4:57 PM

Yes! I have a friend who seems to get bored with her kids when they turn about 2 or 3. She insists on more kids even though her hubby doesn’t want more and they really can’t afford it.

Gigohead  August 14, 2009, 10:13 AM

I’m pregnant now and I’m on a chat board where there are actually women trying to conceive their 5 and 6 or even 7th kid! I know one that just got pregnant and it will be her 8th kid. Yes, it’s the 3rd from her new marriage, but Still! 8 KIDS!!!

IT”S OUTRAGEOUS! Give it a break I want to scream to them!


May August 14, 2009, 4:59 PM

My youngest is 19 months and I’m currently pregnant, but after this one I’m closing the factory.

Big Sis September 17, 2009, 8:10 AM

My little sister loves being pregnant but want to wait until her son is a little older to have another. Shas taken the giving route and is currently a surrogate for a couple that is unable to concive. I love her generosity, but I worry about her health and her ability to carry another child after this stressfull pregnancy for a child that isn’t even hers.

Kelli  October 19, 2009, 6:12 PM

I do know someone who is addicted to being pregnant. Her husband is in the Army and I think thats why, hes gone a lot. They have 4 of their own and now they can’t afford anymore kids and have a lot of bills. She is on her 3rd sergeancy — and 9 weeks after this one is born she already has another set up. She says she will only do up to 6 but holy cow, she is making good money, she said she loves the feeling & its the BEST JOB EVER… I worry about her body and mental state. if she ends up doing all 6 plus her 4 kids thats 10 pregnancies in all!! wow!

ris December 27, 2009, 10:53 PM

i have 4 kids all right about 2yrs apart ages 1 to 7yrs. Im 25 and got my tubes tied after our last baby. Ive had problems since our first when i was 18yr. and am suppose to get my uterus out but ive had alot of anxiety after getting my tubes tied. I gave everything up that i planned when we started our family all i have done for the last 8yrs is have babies now i dont know what to do i should be pregnant again theres just nothing like being pregnant and feeling your baby and seeing all the first no matter how painful the labor. I know we cant afford anymore but i still regret getting my tubes tied and not sure i want the surgery. guess i just dont like the thought of not having a choice to be pregnant just in case we could afford another down the road..guess i could be addicted to having babies its all i know and seems like all i can do..til now that is…

Pharmd881 December 31, 2009, 1:22 PM

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anne thompson January 11, 2010, 12:43 PM

I’m OK after I give birth and then three months later I really start wanting another one. I’m pregnant with number 4 and 5 identical twin boys and this is the best one yet. I’m HUGE and loving the high.

anne thompson January 11, 2010, 12:45 PM

I’m OK after I give birth and then three months later I really start wanting another one. I’m pregnant with number 4 and 5 identical twin boys and this is the best one yet. I’m HUGE and loving the high.

sassy January 19, 2010, 4:20 AM

Hi there , i currently have 4 kids and have had them all in 4.5 years . no multiples. since having my last bub i have gone 9.5 months without being preg which is a record for me since 2004 , in this time i have undergone many emotional / psychological battles with my inner hormones, i love being preg , i feel sexy and important and like im doing the most amazing thing on earth . not being pregnant i feel worthless, its hard to explain , im really having to make myself believe its ok to not be pregnant , although everytime i see a baby or hear about a birth it makes me clucky again . i really think i can say i have been addicted to being pregnant , and am slowly weening myself off the need . Hormones sure do have amazing power !..

fullness January 28, 2010, 11:32 AM

I am seven months pregnant with my fourth baby in six years and I would say I am addicted to the high I get from all the hormones and I LOVE my baby bump. It’s complicated because my husband comes from a very large family where having a baby every year is considered normal. So he kind of wants and expects me to want babies. What will slow me down after this one though is labor and delivery. I sail through the pregnancy part but the pain of giving birth is unbearable.

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Beverley Hills Psychologist June 3, 2010, 10:54 AM

I can totally understand how women can get addicted to their baby bumps!

Its the husbands I worry for … and the money you need to support a big family!

http://www.drryanjanis.com/home.html

ash June 7, 2010, 11:25 PM

anne thompson that is exactly how I am. I just turned 21 and just had my 3rd child in February. My longest wait in between children was after I had my first. Now after I have the baby I’m ok but after 3-4 months I start wanting to be pregnant again. I know I’m addicted. I want twins so bad, you are so lucky. I’m going to start preparing my body and taking natural things to increase the odds of twins. I feel like if I get them I’ll stop but who really knows. The only reason I’m not getting pregnant right now is because I want to be able to support them all and I want to give my body time to heal and lose weight. This last time I got prego was the first time I got any stretch marks on my hips and two little ones on my belly. I know I sound rediculous, some people get them like crazy but I know this next time if I don’t wait and get more in shape I’ll get more. I love my prego body though and I definately get a high off of it. And I don’t know about you other prego addicts but it’s definately not hard for me to become pregnant. Even when strictly breastfeeding a 4 month old I got prego first time. It’s hard to not constantly think about it, which then makes me upset because I should be happy with the children I have. Which I am, but I just want more. Plus nothing compares to seeing your baby on the ultrasound, hearing the heart beat, finding out the sex, picking the name, buying all the cute baby stuff, having a baby bump, feeling them move inside you, looking your baby in the face for the first time, I could go on and on. It’s really hard to imagine not having kids anymore. But at the same time I want to be able to give my kids the attention that they all deserve, and I know that will make me stop. I want 5 and if I could get twins I will be happy and I think done. I really want the experience of having two at the same time and raising twins. I guess I’ll stop rambling on now LOL.

Aaron August 11, 2010, 7:00 PM

So does anyone have any advice for me? Im afraid my wife is so addicted that she’ll get pregnant at any cost. And I do mean at any cost.

April Moore September 14, 2010, 9:26 PM

Hi my name is April, and Im addicted to being pregnant! My husband and I have been married for 9 1/2 years (since I was 17) we have 5 children, and every time I see a newborn or hear of someone being pregnant it makes me miss it SO much! I missed my period last month and instantly thought I was pregnant, I was honestly, and SECRETLY disappointed I wasnt! We have babies every other year 2001, 03,05,07 and 09. And while i love being pregnant, and we pay for our children (no welfare or state assistance) we live comfortably, however if we have anymore, we have to time better! We have 3 babies birthdays withing 4 weeks of one another (Nov 21, Dec 13th and Dec 14th)
Yes, we both came from horrible families. However both were fairly large. My children are well behaved and make A honor roll in school. My 3 year old can read, and my son who is 9 months old is starting to walk. All very advanced for their ages. I really think Im addicted though. Im so sick of the stares people give me though for having 5 children!


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