Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, August 14, 2021

There’s now a name for the compulsively impregnated: Bumpaholics.

Mother Nature prods us by making sex and its aftermath feel amazing. Oxytocin, the so-called “cuddle” hormone that promotes bonding, floods women’s bodies during intercourse, pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. “[Pregnancy] is like a love drug,” [family therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil] says. “A baby-love drug.”

Then there’s the constant attention you garner from others when you’re bursting with child. Bumpaholic or not, it can be pretty great. Barb Pomeroy, 42, of Longmont, Colorado, is a mother of six girls. She admits that she reveled in the questions and comments her pregnancies elicited from family, friends, and even complete strangers. She also loved the compliments people fed her about how good she looked when she was pregnant with her daughters. Even though she’s not planning to have any more children, she misses the heightened interest and confidence pregnancy often brings. “There’s this feeling of being special when you’re pregnant,” she says. “I feel like I become ordinary again when I’m not expecting.”

So that baby bump packs both a chemical and a psychological punch. And not only for mommy-slash-junkie:

The belly-rubbing high hits the pregnant woman as well as the people who surround her. The expectant mother gets an oxytocin blast and rubs her belly as a way of bonding. Admirers who rub her belly get a hormone rush, too. “As social creatures, our brains have evolved to make positive social behaviors feel good. Touch causes the release of oxytocin, and this causes the release of dopamine in reward regions of the brain,” says Paul J. Zak, director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

That group dynamic gives this whole thing a cult-of-pregnancy feel. Maternity clothes as ceremonial robes?

Yes, this profile certainly fits the Octomom, Nadya Suleman. In fact, I already suspected as much, especially since she bypassed the sex act to get right to the pregnancy experience. And bumpaholism is a nice fit with the “orgasmic birth” sensation.

Is there a cure for bumpaholics? I’d think the fertility high would taper off after nine months, when the first whiff of filled-diaper hits the nose. If not then, maybe when the kid first asks for the car keys.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/14/2009 11:31:07 AM
Category: Science, Women
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