Whenever I used to hear about women who had baby fever I kind of laughed a bit and assumed it was only for women who were much older than me and who all of a sudden realized they didn’t have many birthing years ahead of them. At least that’s how the movies depicted it. Then a couple years ago I felt the itch. I’d always loved babies but this was different. I felt a physical reaction, like butterflies in my stomach, when I saw a baby. Of course the decision (that both my husband and I came to together) to actually try for a baby was well thought out and not just made because of this baby fever that I was experiencing. I was just amazed that it was an actual physical reaction. The butterflies have now turned into more of a dull side ache but the feeling is still there.
This all may sound silly to some who have never experienced it before but according to researchers Gary Brase and his wife Sandra, baby fever does exist. They have spent nearly 10 years studying the phenomena. What they found is there are three factors that consistently predicted how much a person wanted to have a baby.
1. Positive exposure such as holding and cuddling babies.
2. Negative exposure such as babies crying and children throwing tantrums.
3. Trade-offs that come with having children.
Unsurprisingly, if you’ve mostly been around well behaved, sweet babies and parents who enjoy them, you’re more likely to want one of your own. I myself have had great experiences with babies my entire life and have seen all six of my sisters and three sisters-in-law become mothers. Baby fever practically looks rational at this point.
While the study focuses on the psychological elements of baby fever and I was more curious about the actual physical science, I was happy to know I’m not completely crazy. I’ll be interested to hear when the results when the same researchers do a follow up study about the hormones associated with it all.
You can read more about the research in this article from Science Daily.
image: Melisa Russo
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