Grace has seen the negative impact of large families through her extended family.It's thoughtless to have more children than one can afford.
The Phenomena of Pregnancy Addiction
There are women who incessantly get pregnant. They already have children to care for; however, these women believe in having yet more and more children. Psychologists and psychiatrists call this need "pregnancy addiction". According to these psychologists and psychiatrists, the constant need to get pregnant is much as an addiction as other types of addiction. Psychiatrists further maintain that the constant need to get pregnant is a mental disorder.
There are women who are so in love with being pregnant and having children that they often neglect the children they have already have. Women who are obsessed with becoming pregnant do so to fill a void in their lives. These women often do not have a job/career, friends, hobbies, and/or an outside life. They are oftentimes extremely lonely and believe that being perpetually pregnant fills this loneliness and void in their lives.
Women who continue to get pregnant do so in order to feel useful and worthwhile. These women furthermore believe that they are nothing without children. These women further assert that they feel more feminine and womanly when they are pregnant. Other women are obsessed with being pregnant because they receive adulation and are stars for the moment. They feel as if they are the centers of the universe.
However, many women incessantly become pregnant as an excuse not to pursue other interests such as a job, career, and/or further education. There are many women who do not want to interface with the outside world which they perceive as threatening and foreboding. They are comfortable being in the domestic sphere and they continuously get pregnant in order to avoid interfacing with the outside world.
There are some women who constantly become pregnant in order to salvage their marriages. They contend that their husbands will never leave a mother with lots of children. They further believe that being having children will cement their marriages. There are women who keep getting pregnant to avoid the empty nest syndrome which means that they have to interface with their husbands more. These women are afraid to be alone with their husbands so they keep getting pregnant in order to have children whom they believe will act as buffers between them and their husbands.
Keith Ablow, M.D., a Boston psychiatrist, maintains that women who are obsessed with being pregnant, often have underlying problems and they are often insecure. Dr. Ablow further asserted that they have the need to continuously get pregnant because of deep emotional and psychological issues i.e. whether it is dependency needs, the need for attention and adoration, and to avoid certain problems that they have.
There are women who constantly get pregnant because it is an emotional rush to them. Pregnancy releases oxytocin, the feel good hormone. When women are pregnant, they have healthy glow and appearance. There are many women who remark that they feel so good being pregnant; however, when the baby is born, they lose this feeling. They often wish to capture this feeling and do so by repeatedly becoming pregnant.
There are women who view pregnancy as an end all. They are in love with being pregnant; however, when the baby is born, it is often too much for these women to handle. There are women who are in love with the theoretical idea of pregnancy and the novelty of newborns. However, when the newborn becomes a toddler, they tire of him/her and want to get pregnant again and have another newborn, often neglecting the children they already have.
In conclusion, there are mothers who have an addiction to pregnancy. Many psychologists and psychiatrists classify this as a mental illness. There are reasons for this malady. Many women habitually become pregnant because of the attention and adulation they receive from others. They feel as if they are stars and goddesses for the moment.
There are mothers who continuously get pregnant to feel a sense of self-worth and to feel useful. These are still other women who only feel womanly and feminine when they are continuously pregnant. Many women become habitually pregnant to fill a void in their lives. These women often have neither careers nor other outside interests and they sublimate all this energy to becoming pregnant repeatedly.
Many women use the issue of being constantly pregnant to avoid the the "big and bad" outside world, feeling more comfortable and secure within the domestic sphere. There are many women who repeatedly get pregnant in order to hold their marriages together and to avoid the empty nest syndrome. Other women are obsessed with being pregnant because it makes them feel good.
There are some mothers who are in love with the idea of being pregnant and having newborns. However, when the newborn becomes a toddler, the novelty wears off and the mother loses the high and often becomes pregnant again with deleterious effects on her already existing children. Yes, these women do have a verifiable addiction. Furthermore, they have a mental illness but they do not know it. Children are treasured individualized human beings to be cherished and loved. They are not collectible items! Women who have a pregnancy addition should seek psychiatric treatment for this is a sickness as any other.
More Hubs to Read
- The Large Family is Pathological, Part 2/2
I hope that this is going to be my last hub on the large family. We are all too familiar with the extreme megafamilies presented on cable television such as the Duggars and the Bates. The Duggars of Arkansas now have a total of NINETEEN children....
- The Large Family is Pathological, Part 1/2
Many decades ago, the large family was revered by society. Parents were praised for having lots of children. Psychologists and sociologists heaped emulations on parents that how beautiful and altruistic they were for bringing so many children into...
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on October 17, 2020:
Sharon, mothers of large families don't give a crap about their children beyond giving birth. Yes, mothers of large families are addicted to being pregnant. They also have baby hunger.
Mothers of large families have a void in their lives. They have no outside interests which explains why they are continuously pregnant. If they had outside hobbies & interests, they wouldn't be pregnant all the time. Large families are totally unnecessary in this postmodern age of advanced contraception. Anyone who has a large family is irresponsible as well as selfish & immature.
Sharon Ward on October 17, 2020:
Wow I really think you yourself have some deep rooted issues you should come to terms with, your post is quite offensive to big families. How you think mothers of large families don't give a crap about their children or how children raised in big families are feral is beyond me :/ seriously to say big families are in the pecking order ! you should open your mind and not be so judgmental ;)
Step mommy on December 11, 2019:
My step sons mother has the traits of this. She has 3 children by 3 men and ustody of none. She is in and out of their lives. Now she is pregnant again with yet another man. The strange thing is she is attempting to be a mother now but only when convenient.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 06, 2018:
This is TYPICAL behavior of large families. Large families live in an inverse world which is different from normal people. Large families AREN'T normal. In fact, they are DYSFUNCTIONAL & PATHOLOGICAL in scope. Large families are a BED of dysfunction. "Parents" of large families don't give a crap about their children. If they did, they would have small families in which children are cherished, given attention, & the best opportunities. "Parents" of large families are nominal parents only. Children in large families raise & nurture themselves. Children in large families are feral, uncouth, unrefined, & untrained. I have noticed this behavior in large families. Large families are the LOWEST in the pecking order of families. I have written many articles on large families- please check them out. Thank you for responding.
Oldbetty on December 06, 2018:
Yes, I totally agree somethings a miss, yet she continues to say I always wanted a large family cause I come from one. Pains she loves children, yet I’ve witnessed total strangers care about the safety of her kids. I worked at a restaurant where a fellow employee stood by the door ensuring the kids would not run out and hit hit by traffic. Yet the crazy thing the husband says she can have as many as she wants since she’s watching them. I don’t get why people don’t tell her to watch her kids better or stop, geez I’ve even witnessed her kid eat dog shit as she was crawling on a lawn, while the mother wasn’t paying attention to the kid
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on December 05, 2018:
Yes mothers of large families have this psychological, even psychiatric disorder. They have children to fill a void in their lives. They have a pregnancy addiction. They continuously have children, although they can't afford to adequately take care of them. This places a burden on the father who has to work constantly to stay afloat economically. In the future, I will discuss the deleterious effect of large families on the husband. Your sister in law exhibits the behavior of mothers who have large families-uncontrolled, feral children who raise & support themselves,& such mothers have little to do w/the children beyond giving birth. Michelle Duggar exemplify pregnancy addition to the nth power.
Oldbetty on December 05, 2018:
I have a sis in law same thing, has a slew of kids, close I’m age, once there independent she has another. Claims it brings you closer to your spouse the more you have. Her husband works like crazy has health problems and she does the bare minimum. These kids are unsupervised, sent outside all the time. She’s happy when Monday come than they all go to school all day. She’s also the first to tap herself on the back for being soo good of a parent and how she’s raising 6 kids. I just get it
Helen on November 19, 2018:
It may be a temporary hormone problem. I went through it and being in a dysfunctional marriage, plus a husband in the service gone a lot, helped get over it. I had a boss whose wife wanted a third child. He asked my advice. Suggested he act enthused, but wanted to make sure she and three children could get along without him if he passed or was an invalid. Might take a few months. Took me less than three to get over my baby desire. Asked myself: how could I support and care for three children, in case I had to? I had no family that could help me out When he came home between trips, that's all it took.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on August 18, 2017:
Your sister-in-law needs counselling period. She has a deep seated need for attention. Women who are addicted to pregnancy has a deep seated need for attention which they feel that they only receive when they are pregnant. Also, your sister-in-law needs outside activities & friends, women who have a pregnancy addiction have NO OUTSIDE interests that is why they continuously become pregnant as there is a void in their lives.
Susan on August 17, 2017:
My sister in law has this addiction. Her doctors have told her she could die from hemoraging again. She has birthed 6 children almost all 14-16months apart. My brother pays thousands of dollars for nannies, housekeepers, constant shopping addiction and I am deeply concerned he will eventually have a stroke from the financial pressure. They eat crappy snacks and sports drinks for meals and she seems to dislike them once they reach a certain age. Breaking my heart. I love the kids, I love my brother....why can't she see what she is doing? The only thing that will stop this madness is my brother getting snipped or God forbid buckling under a medical issue from the pressure.
sonnet gram on December 25, 2015:
I come from a family where my mother was addicted to being pregnant ,my father was an inadequate alchohlic and I can assure all the offspring have been damaged emotionally in various ways, its also true my mother was unable to give any love as was my father as both seemed to suffer from a form of narcisism, they did not have the money or social skills or interest in any of their children except tp use them as pawns to prop up their dreadful marriage, this type of situation spawns all kinds of serious issues, such as extreme violence from the mother towards several of the growing children and violence from the father also , never mind what has been said above its not on in many cases just because someone is addicted to pregnancy and chooses a useless husband its disgracful behaviour and and both needed to have psychiatric intervention never mind all the nonsense about hormones etc , it was deliberate to have these pregnancies so she could feel what ever , and damage all of the other siblings with her neglect and ignorance its a pathetic addiction and actually damages the whole family as I said disgrscful and selfish.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on May 04, 2015:
Amen to you, what an eloquently intelligent response.
yakima on May 04, 2015:
Good grief - those who think Catholic women don't have a choice are just ignorant. All Catholics know about natural family planning & it doesn't involve a pill, IUD or the like. I know plenty of women who use religion as an excuse when what they're really doing is filling a void in their lives as suggested in article. I loved being pregnant too but need to take care of those I have - four beautiful children who deserve all my love, attention and time.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on March 19, 2015:
Yes, she does have an obsession with pregnancy in order to full a void in her life. She has no outside friends nor hobbies. She also have vey little education. All those are voids which she fills by becoming pregnant.
Cindy on March 19, 2015:
I have a niece who is 21 and pregnant with her fourth baby! She didn't graduate from high school and her first baby is to a different man than the others. She was all upset because she couldn't celebrate her 21 st birthday due to being pregnant and vowed the next summer she would be back in shape and she was done being pregnant. She has 2 boys and a girl and is now pregnant with #4! I am seriously worried about her bc her fiancé is only 22 and I think it's crazy to believe she will be happy for the rest of her life just having babies
.My husband and I knew she was going to announce another pregnancy when she complained about deleting the pregnancy app from her phone. Her oldest isn't quite 4& her youngest is 6 mos and she's due again before her youngest turns 1! Making her kids 4,1and a half, 6 mos and another one due in 6 mos, she will by then be 22!I think she may be suffering from some kind of disorder and I'm worried about her. Any feedback??
Concerned Mom-to-be on March 16, 2015:
I am a woman suffering from a mental illness (although i is not being addicted to pregnancy as identified here), and I have to agree with what is written here. I've had counseling and medication to help me sustain a clear head and mental outlook for myself, which is why I've allowed myself now at 33 to become pregnant. I'm engaged to be married, am college educated and come from a 2-parent home. I've recently engaged my fiance's cousin in a close relationship because we happen to be pregnant at the same time. Here's the problem: This is here 5th or 6th pregnancy; 2 or 3 which were miscarriages, after which she was told by her doctor NOT to become pregnant anymore for fear she might rupture regions within her cervical area, and she has had surgery in the past to repair this area. She has 2 sets of twins already, pre-teens and a set of 4 year-olds. Her pre-teens were awarded to her mother by the state for lack of care some many years ago, although she lives with her twins, her other set of twins, and her husband (who is the father only to the most recent twins and her current fetus; which now makes 5 children), all in the basement of her mother's home. Her husband does not have a stable job as a construction contractor and her job certainly does not pay well enough to support her and her children should something happen and her husband cannot work.
Sadly, the laundry list of issues with this family is that her youngest twins have learning and speech delays; as do 1 of her older twins. The family cannot afford to move out of her mother's basement. It is known that she has attacked her own mother in her own home; which is part of the reason her oldest twins were removed from her care; all attributed to a mental-illness she does acknowledge, however seems to ignore. When I first met her (she wasn't pregnant at the time), she alerted me to plans of having more children, and this was beautiful to here, although I was not aware of her troubled-family past. Meanwhile, when mentioning news of this to my fiancé, he proceeded to tell me this could not be true because he's spoken with her husband who does not want any more children. She had been planning this pregnancy for the 3-4 months I'd been getting acquainted with her, having me believe this was a FAMILY decision.
In short, it turns out she spends more time at the doctor's office for every little hiccup she feels with her now unborn child, she calls all family members, including me, with every little detail of the pregnancy; and I'm told she carried on with this very same routine with her past pregnancies - all seemingly pursing attention when nothing was wrong. Now that she's told by her own doctor she should not be having any additional pregnancies (including her current pregnancy), I'm told by her family that she seeks out attention even more, in addition to telling me, who's she's just met, that she wishes this was another set of twins and not just a single gestation. She also states that she has no problem having more children even if her husband does not want any and that if he doesn't want them, then he should be "snipping himself." I'm sorry, but this is just plain selfish and manipulating if you ask me. This man did not know she was attempting to become pregnant this time around and assumed they were "done." She knows she cannot afford this additional child and does not care. In addtion, she is putting stress on her mother's home where she is a guest, does not have sufficient help for her current children who are mentally delayed and is now being threatened with divorce at the delivery room with her current fetus because her husband is furious with her selfish decision-making.
If you mean to tell me this woman is not suffering from a disorder causing her to be addicted to pregnancy when her life is heading in the direction of shambles, if not already there, then maybe you are not aware of what making an educated decision means. Because I suffer from my own demons and don't know her very well, I feel it is not my place to address her directly, but this does not at all seem NATURAL nor HEALTHY, and certainly not wise. Just because we can become pregnant, does not mean that we should...we were given minds and freedom to make choices for a reason. I can tell you first hand that her children are suffering because they come looking for attention from me or anyone else whenever I see them at my home. I've even donated clothes; etc. to these poor children because they ask and seem so much in need of attention...people who continue on to have children while not taking care of the ones they have are in need of serious help. I'm making the decision to have just 1 child at this time because after therapy much contemplation it is what I believe I can handle and because I want to pass my wisdom on - not just pro-create because I believe it is my right.
Trixie on February 14, 2015:
Thanks for spending time on the computer (wtgiinr) so others don't have to.
kathleen on January 24, 2015:
Scary stuff. Children are a gift. Have only as many as you can properly care for.
Jallie on November 01, 2014:
I came to this page looking for what is known about this type of issue. If you are one watching this thing happen and can see full well the destruction of a family that is imminent you don't have any questions at all that something very unhealthy is happening. I so far am finding very little from professionals aside from those generated around the Octomom and the tv reality shows several years ago and this recent blog. gmwilliams I found your article helpful and informative in trying to understand some of the many reasons this happens... however, I am disappointed in your post later when you resorted to calling people degrading and disrespectful names. It is my belief that this can happen to anyone no matter how educated they are... addiction can happen to anyone and for many reasons. Each has a story to tell and most of these people; I'm guessing, didn't get there as a well laid plan.... hindsight truly is 20/20 but unfortunately...we as humans make unwise choices that comes from ignorance...not always stupidity...there is a difference. Addiction is sometimes thought to come from a predisposition in the persons biological make up; others lacked something in their emotional development as a child; and etc. What I noticed in these post more often than not in those defending those that have large families is the word "I" To me that is the deciding factor in determining something unhealthy is going on... when someone is doing it for the fulfillment of "I". Having children is a very fulfilling thing...I had three...my nest is empty now and I'm entering retirement.... and as of yet...nothing has quite brought that kind of fulfillment and level of significance as nurturing them. But I had a healthy understanding of when continuing would impact my marriage and family in a very destructive way. That is called love... I loved my husband to much to burden him with more than he could provide and take his pride away...and I loved my children enough to have them far enough part so I could give them the bonding time so they could grow up without detachment issues. It is my hope that anyone reading this blog struggling with this addiction will give serious thought to their true motives. I urge you to love your unborn children enough to examine the level of stresses that are in your life so that when they do come...your family is stable, committed and capable to meeting their needs... not just for them to fulfill some unhealthy lacking in your own makeup.
LR on September 10, 2014:
It's the husband who wants the wife to be pregnant, usually with his children, so that way she doesn't leave him nor get pregnant by another man. Usually these women have husbands who don't trust them to have careers, outside interests, friends, nor hobbies. Their husbands are very possessive and overprotective of them so they want them to be pregnant with their children only to prevent them from straying.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on July 10, 2014:
Hmmbug, your name should be Smartperson. Totally agree, this obsession with having large families is beyond stupid if you ask me. What is good about large families? Well, poverty, want, struggle, no privacy, poor food/nutrition, having to work in childhood, and foregoing education.
In essence, there's NOTHING GOOD about large families. People who have large families are psychotic and have voids in their lives that be filled by jobs/careers, friends, activities, and hobbies instead of popping out kids ad infinitum. I believe that birth control should be mandatory, 1-2 children only.
Yes, large families are responsible for POVERTY and CRIME. Small families are GOOD for society, higher standards of living and individualism which are beneficial for society. Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion!
By the way, you are right in saying that large families have little to do with loving kids. In fact, it is parents of small families who LOVE their children by giving them individualized attention and care in addition to providing their children with the best that life has to offer. Parents of large families, au contraire, DON'T love kids although they possess to doing so.
If you love your kids, you wouldn't subject them to struggle, doing without, having them live on top of each other like animals, making them wear castoff and secondhand clothing, neglecting them, and all the other negative things that children from large families are subjected to. Large families are a dinosaur which only the illiterate, stupid, and uneducated have.
Hmmbug on July 10, 2014:
The churches or belief systems that foster the old large family, due to no longer existing farm needs or high death rates, are responsible for adding to poverty and crime in the world. Africa for example cannot get out of its own way unless there is better population control. What good is a poorly raised economically unviable large family? Large family obsession is not normal and has little to do with loving kids.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 13, 2014:
To Amanda, Thank you for stopping by and adding to the discussion. Women from large families can never be qualified and deemed to be good mothers. In fact, they disqualify greatly. To be a good mother means that a MOTHER must be constantly involved and interactive with the child/children. Women from large families RELEGATE the raising and responsibility of children to the oldest/older children. Women from large families have it EASIEST; they are mothers in name only, seldom are they involved in raising their children. They just keeping popping them, giving them to the oldest children so they can continue popping them out.
Pregnancy addiction is a serious ilnness. Women who have this condition do so because they have no outside interests, friends, jobs, nor hobbies. They also have a strong sense of inferiority. They feel that they are nothing in or of themseles so they become pregnant to gain a sense of self. There are women with baby addiction, they love babies but once the children become older, the child loses the magic so they become pregnant again and again.......and again. This women need psychiatric treatment to cure them of pregnancy addiction. Children are not dolls to collect but individual beings that need love and attention.
Amanda Roddy on April 13, 2014:
Ann Landers caused quite a controversy years ago when she said birth control was all the woman's responsibility. I agree with CherylIvanHoorn in saying it works both ways. She brings up a good point about men. Andrea Yates comes to mind concerning religious dogma. She didn't have 5 kids because of an addiction. She had 5 kids because of a twisted beliefs and her husband didn't want to stop in spite of doctor's warnings. Michelle Duggar has been lucky in some respects. Jim Bob Duggar says it is up to her, but I take that with a grain of salt. I think men can be addicted as well. While I am certain there may be women of larger families who seem to be good mothers, but it seems to be their only ID and someone will get neglected no matter how good of a mother others think they are. I do agree pregnancy addiction is real and unnatural as it is unnatural to have a food addiction. And notice none of these people ever consider adoption. it is an addition because they must have a bio child.
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on April 10, 2014:
YOU really need help. Get a job, get involved in activities, get friends, or a hobby. You are really sick and need psychiatric help.
Rochelle on April 10, 2014:
I am addicted to pregnancy. I don't care about the attention- I always plan to keep it a secret, but eventually someone finds out (I made it to 17 weeks last time). I love all my children and don't neglect them...I spend every moment of my day attending to their needs. The "novelty" of the newborn isn't it either. My youngest is 5 weeks and I literally wanted to be pregnant again the day after he was born. I LOVE pregnancy. I don't know what it is about it, but I love it. I don't know when I will stop having children. Lucky for me I breastfeed so my kids are all 2-3 years apart...I don't think I'll be like Michelle Duggar, even though I did start having kids at 18. I could end up with 15 if I'm like my mother and don't experience menopause until 55...
Grace Marguerite Williams (author) from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York on January 10, 2014:
@ Careerdrivenandamom, I believe that women who choose to have large families(6 or more children per household) are acting selfishly and without forethought. There is NO WAY that parents can effectively raise a large family by themselves. This means that the OLDEST child MUST parent the younger children, forfeiting his/her childhood and adolescence. This is not right at all. Children SHOULD NOT be raising children. Each child should have a childhood. Unfortunately, oldest children of large families DO NOT HAVE a childhood. Women who choose to have large families should be frowned upon for they are not concern about how having additional children have ramification upon the remaining children.