Baby Crazy? Scientists Say "Baby Fever" Is Real

If you've ever gone weak in the knees at the sight of a chubby infant, a forthcoming study in the journal Emotion will be no surprise. A Kansas State University psychologist says "baby fever," the sudden emotional and physical urge to have a baby, is real.

And women aren't the only ones to be struck with it: "Women reported that it happened more frequently and more strongly but it's there for both men and women," says Gary Brase, associate professor of psychology, who with his wife, Sandra Brase, has studied baby fever for more than ten years. The couple has two children.

"The first two had to do with the visual sensory things," says Brase. "Seeing a baby, hearing a baby, smelling a baby led some people to want to have a baby."

Conversely, hearing a baby screaming, smelling a dirty diaper or being exposed to spit-up or other "disgusting" aspects of babies, led other people to not want a baby or come down with what you might call "anti-baby fever."

A third factor had to do with trade-offs that come with having children.

"People would say, 'I don't want to have a baby because I don't have money or I don't have time or I don't have a partner,'" he says. "All of the rational thoughts. That showed up as a third factor."

The researchers plan future studies on the role of hormones in baby fever.

Have you ever experienced baby fever? What set it off?


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