I Am Obsessed with Pregnancy

Photo by Frank de Kleine - http://flic.kr/p/8dbGLR - For illustration only

Reader’s Question

I am a 17-year-old female studying A levels whilst in a steady relationship with a 24-year-old man whom I love very much. The problem is that I am so comfortable with him that I really really want his baby. I am so broody that I will spend hours into the night researching pregnancy and even planning my imaginary baby’s name! I have convinced myself that I am pregnant and won’t let anyone bump into me or hug me too hard in case they harm “the baby”.

I know this is not normal but whenever I tell myself that my “pregnancy” is not real, I can’t deal with it. Please help me; this intense broodiness has gotten in the way of my life and is making me very depressed. I don’t know how to cope anymore.

Psychologist’s Reply

It sounds like there is a lot going on in your life, so you may want to try and break it down some. The first thing that strikes me is that you are in a relationship with a man who is seven years your senior. While that is not a problem in and of itself, large differences in age between romantic partners do matter when they are in different stages of life. This may be the case for you. At 17, you should be concentrating on school and considering career options, while he may be more vocationally settled and ready for a family. If so, the two of you need to honestly communicate your needs and desires and determine how to satisfy both partners.

Second, you stated that you really want his baby because you are so comfortable with him. However, you then go on to talk about things about pregnancy and broodiness that have nothing at all to do with him. Thus, it seems as if the pregnancy is not really about him but more about you. And, given the level of emphasis you’re giving it right now, it appears as though the desire for a child is fulfilling some need inside of you. This is extremely problematic because having a child works out best when you are ready for one and can adequately parent. Please trust me when I tell you that parenting is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever have. It requires a great deal of time, patience, self-sacrifice, love and the ability to multi-task. In short, if this focus on having a baby is making you obsessed and depressed, it is not the right time for you to have one.

Whenever I become extremely single-minded, one of the first things I do is try to figure out what is at the root of it. What do I need that I am not getting? What is missing from my life that I’m trying to get through this intense concentration? There could be several answers to these questions. Many people believe that having a baby will help a failing relationship. Others concentrate on starting a family because they’re scared of being out in the real world, so they want to focus on something closer to home. There are other reasons for emphasizing a baby to the exclusion of everything else, so you need to find out what is going on with you.

Try Online Counseling: Get Personally Matched
(Please read our important explanation below.)

If these questions are difficult to answer, it may be helpful for you to seek outside assistance. Sometimes friends and family are good resources, but if they aren’t or if it is difficult for you to ask, then an objective professional may be required. A qualified counselor could help you identify the reasons behind your broodiness and help you move beyond it. Being a parent has been one of the greatest joys of my life, so I am not anti-baby. However, I think you want to save motherhood for when it will be a joy and not a stress. Although it may seem old to you now, being 17 means that you have plenty of time to figure it out.

Please read our Important Disclaimer.

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. Originally published by on and last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

Ask the Psychologist provides direct access to qualified clinical psychologists ready to answer your questions. It is overseen by the same international advisory board of distinguished academic faculty and mental health professionals — with decades of clinical and research experience in the US, UK and Europe — that delivers CounsellingResource.com, providing peer-reviewed mental health information you can trust. Our material is not intended as a substitute for direct consultation with a qualified mental health professional. CounsellingResource.com is accredited by the Health on the Net Foundation.

Copyright © 2022.