Can Pregnancy Be Addicting? Some Dr.’s Say Yes!

While having babies isn’t addictive in the way that alcohol and narcotics can be, some believe that ‘bumpaholics’ feel compelled to procreate for many of the same reasons that substance abusers turn to booze or drugs.

Psychologists say some women may reproduce quickly after a new baby because they are insecure, crave attention, or feel abandoned 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. “You want to have a purpose in this world. You want to feel less lonely.”

For some women, babies fill that gap perfectly. Infants are dependent creatures. They can give their mothers a clear identity; they can also become handy social buffers. At a party or on the playground, a woman struggling with feelings of social anxiety or self-consciousness can hide behind the adorable infant in her arms. Any pressure to be cute or charming or funny disappears — your baby has that covered. “Bumpaholics breed to blot out their feelings of insecurity,” Weil says.

Boston psychiatrist and Fox News consultant Keith Ablow, M.D., says some women seem to view having more children as an alternative to addressing their own personal problems. “Bearing another child can sometimes provide a substitute for deciding on a career path, making a marriage work, or even wrestling with questions of self-worth,” Ablow says.

The baby fix can become a cycle. When an infant becomes a more independent toddler, “the mom may feel abandoned and act quickly to fill the void again with a new baby who will rely upon her and her partner and define their lives,” Dr. Lieberman says.

Some women love the constant attention you garner from others when you’re bursting with child. The rounder your belly gets, the more people take notice of you. In many respects, you become impossible to ignore.

Spouses and partners dote on you, gladly delivering soup at 10 a.m. or antacids at 11 p.m. “My husband constantly rubbed and coddled me, and I ate it all up,” says Liz Bustamante, a 39-year-old financial advisor from Forest Hills, N.Y., who has one child and is currently planning for the next. “And for the first time in my life, instead of feeling insecure about my body, I wanted to run around naked! I’d never felt sexier.”

Magazines follow celebrity-bumps, and nude maternity portraits are a must do for celebs and women alike.

Pregnancy lets every woman be a star in her own world, and the rest of us are all too happy to shine the spotlight.

After my son arrived, the intense love I felt made me want to have another baby. The euphoria that a new mom feels when she meets her baby is so amazing, it tricks you into doing it all over again.

The article goes on to say that the economics of having 2, 3 or 4 kids can cause these attention seeking moms to re-think their plans.

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About the author

Lisa Arneill

Founder of Growing Your Baby and World Traveled Family. Canadian mom of 2 boys, photo addict, lover of bulldogs, and museumgoer. Always looking for our next vacation spot!

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