Ovaries Dancing Like Mary J? Baby Fever Is Real, Ya’ll!
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Itching to have a baby? Do your ovaries scream at the sight of deliciously squeezable baby thighs? While this unquenchable, inexplicable urge to put a bun in the oven may seem crazy, there’s a bonafide emotional and physical explanation – baby fever.
According to a 2012 study in the journal Emotion, baby fever is an emotional phenomenon – one that affects both men and women. Mainly referred to as the “biological clock,” women may feel a sudden longing to procreate, as their window to conceive dwindles in their reproductive prime – or before age 32. Men on the other hand, tend to baby-lust once they have children.
Of course, there are several factors that feed this craving – the sociocultural, byproduct and adaptationist views. “People might think they want to have children because they are supposed to have children,” said study author Gary Brase, a psychology professor at Kansas State University, of the sociocultural influence on women specifically.
After evaluating nearly 500 tweets with the hashtag #babyfever, Brase and his students also discovered that “baby fever” is closely tied to spending time with little ones – “When the cook brings her baby grandson to the house … Everyone has #babyfever’’ – others stung by the baby bee appeared to be in a romantic relationship. The less frequent tweets expressed regret – “I just want a baby to cuddle with, is that too much to ask? #babyfever #singleproblems.”
Meanwhile, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists argues that there’s no one biological or physiological explanation responsible for baby fever.
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“If you’re in the right mindset, and you’re in the right space, and you’re ready financially [and] emotionally, [and] your maturity level is there and you’re around your friends’ kids, you may have baby fever,”said Dr. Shannon Clark, an associate professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “It’s a very subjective thing,” she added.
Fortunately for those men and women not yet in a place “financially and emotionally,” or in a relationship for that matter, there are ways to cope. One may be soothed simply by holding someone’s child. Another, by expanding their family. Others, by making peace with the reality, that “now” just isn’t the right time.
“It’s a normal part of human psychology and doesn’t mean that you definitely should act on it or should not act on it,” Brase continued. “You should look at your circumstances, and you should consider what would be the best thing considering your other goals in life.”
Overall, how each individual chooses to cope will vary. What’s important is knowing that you are not alone. You still have time and options.