Baby bump

A friend remarked to me recently that pregnant women seem to be everywhere. At her job serving ice cream, she says pregnant women seem to be a constant presence. I have to agree that I’ve seen a lot of baby bumps around, too.

This led me to noticing that pregnancy seems omnipresent in pop culture today. Nobody can forget Octomom and that saga, but many celebrities – from Heidi Klum to Sarah Michelle Gellar – are also pregnant and high-profile about it. And those with little toddlers are frequently seen out and about enjoying summer with their kids.

You have to wonder why this is. Was it just a really good holiday season? Or is there something more going on here? Especially with many families struggling financially right now, adding to the brood isn’t necessarily the best idea, given that the cost of raising a child is estimated at more than six figures.

Then I read an article in the latest Women’s Health about pregnancy “addictions.” The article basically put it that the combination of hormones and extra attention makes some women love being pregnant so much that they feel lacking once the baby is born, and they soon want to be pregnant again.

I have to imagine being pregnant could be pretty fun (aside from morning sickness, weird cravings and general discomfort, of course). Your significant other becomes considerably more attentive, you can eat as much as you want with no diet worries, your friends and relatives shower you with gifts, random people on the street smile at you and pat your belly.

So it makes sense that there could be a letdown after that’s all over. Baby blues and postpartum depression are fairly common after the baby is born, but I have to think this article goes beyond that.

The idea of a pregnancy addiction, in my mind, speaks to much deeper issues with the mothers. As much as pregnancy might be a boost, women fitting this mold must be pretty insecure and unfulfilled to need that boost time and again. Frankly, it’s a little scary. And as one of multiple children, it’s kind of disturbing to think of women getting pregnant not because they truly want a baby, but because they want to feel better about themselves.

If these women’s lives are that hollow or their careers are going nowhere or their marriages are that distant, they really don’t have a good environment in which to bring a child. Yes, children need attentive and devoted mothers willing to put other things on hold in order to care for them. But babies should need their moms more than moms need their babies.

Children need strong, positive role models – women who have confidence and determination, who can provide secure homes and happy families, who are self-assured and fulfilled with their lives. Those are the kind of mothers children need more of. Besides, what about the husbands of these pregnancy-addicted women? They need to be on board, too, for things to go well.

With a down economy, skyrocketing population and kids in need of adoption, women – no, couples – need to think carefully before getting pregnant. It’s not just their own lives they’re dealing with.

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