4

votes

Did your urge to have children increase after you went paleo?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I wondered the other day...since eating paleo, many women seem to notice a higher sex-drive. Also, women who struggled with infertility problems seem to get better and if they now want to become pregnant, it is easier apparently.

Now I wonder: do women (who just simply didn't want children before going paleo) have an increased urge to breed since going paleo? I must say, I personally didn't experience this. I feel like I'm pretty unemotional when it comes to babies; even in general. All in all, this could be related to the significantly low sugar in my diet but still...I'm as healthy as a horse, a young woman (20), high sex-drive but don't want to have children at all.

I should, shouldn't I? I mean, strictly biologically speaking.

I'm curious about others!

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on August 16, 2011
at 04:28 PM

I do think there is something that happens hormonally after a woman gives birth...maybe it's natures way of saying,"This female has proven herself to be fertile, quick! Turn that switch on to ensure the survival of the species!"

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Could it be that once a woman becomes pregnant, she gets addicted to the rush of feel-good hormones, and associates that with having children from that point forward?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:07 PM

How do you explain the many women like myself who are fertile, at their childbearing peak, and yet have no desire for children at all? And do you most commonly see this "baby fever" in women who are already mothers?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on August 16, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Most of the women I have talked to who have had at least one baby get what I refer to as baby fever, and I do think this phenomenom is a product of hormones. I do agree that spacing babies many years apart is a good thing for the health of the mother and the children, but infant mortality rates are a heck of a lot lower than they were in paleolithic times, meaning that humans would want to procreate often to ensure some offspring would make it to adulthood. I have observed this longing in so many dozens of fertile mothers~we are still biologically programed to compensate for this, imho

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:44 PM

Chimps have a particularly long mother-infant dependency period, during which the infant will nurse for up to 5 years, and then hang out with mom for a few more years until maturity is reached at around 12 years. So chimps probably average one baby every 5-6 years, and then only when their current offspring is approximately as mature as a human teenager.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Yeah, I don't think having a troupe of children would have been ideal during the Paleolithic, and I don't think the desire to have so many is all that normal either--That sounds more like a male fantasy. Human offspring take considerably longer to reach maturity than most other mammals, and as a result a lot of time and effort goes into each one which you know from experience. Do you think you could handle an infant and toddler while trekking the savannah? Great apes tend to have only one baby at a time, and don't have another until the first one is old enough to take care of itself.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:13 PM

+1 for using term paleo/evolutionary nutrition. I so think we should own the evolution part of what we do. (The rest of your answer was great too)

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 15, 2011
at 09:41 PM

I don't agree, "baby fever" is not normal for all fertile women.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 15, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Are you serious?

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 15, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Agreed - it seems some people have babies because they think that is what is expected of them (and may think that is the only way they can "contribute" to society). If they wised up a bit, would we have less unhappy, dysfunctional families? I wonder.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:19 PM

Yes! This! "First priority is to maximize my own physical and mental health and expect the same of my mate."

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:59 PM

My PCOS symptoms have been largely reversed on paleo, so no need to hurry. I think the fertility window only closes early for SAD PCOS sufferers. Live your life, take your time.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:50 PM

I never thought I'd want kids. Didn't think babies were cute at all. And then one day when I was 27 it hit me like a locomotive. I had literally the day before given my boyfriend (now hubby) a 45 minute diatribe about why I never wanted to be a mama. I think it is perfectly normal when you're 20 to not be into it, just don't discount the crazy things hormones do to you as you get older. I didn't adopt paleo eating until I wanted to get pregnant and realized that I was facing some fertility issues.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on August 14, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Ooooh - eerie!!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:45 PM

I often wonder just how many women would elect *not* to have kids if they weren't subjected to societal pressure to do so.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Hey, my name is Kim too! Were we separated at birth? Lol

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:08 PM

I'd upvote you twice if I could - totally agree with your comment about overpopulation.

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on August 14, 2011
at 01:35 PM

WOW 6 kids :] I think you are my new hero! I have three right now, and for the time being we are *done*. I am terrified of going through child birth again, especially because of where we live, the hospital sucks really bad =\ I too hope to foster, or adopt if we ever have the finances etcetc.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Haha, I know but it's definitely tempting nevertheless! :)

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Hahaha, I know, but it definitely tempting nevertheless! :)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:15 PM

I appreciate your candor. Please for the sake of your future children, do not have children to run Paleo science experiments. [*facepalm]

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15 Answers

8
0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:07 PM

Nope. I was 29 when I began dabbling in paleo/evolutionary nutrition. I didn't want kids then, and now at 33, I still don't. My husband and two furkids are all the babies I need. :) Haven't ruled out adoption someday if I change my mind, though.

I think your feelings are perfectly normal. I was "on the fence" for years before I realized that my indecision wasn't so much because I didn't know if I wanted kids - but that I was afraid I was expected to have them. Not everyone needs to have babies, plain and simple.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:45 PM

I often wonder just how many women would elect *not* to have kids if they weren't subjected to societal pressure to do so.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 15, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Agreed - it seems some people have babies because they think that is what is expected of them (and may think that is the only way they can "contribute" to society). If they wised up a bit, would we have less unhappy, dysfunctional families? I wonder.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:13 PM

+1 for using term paleo/evolutionary nutrition. I so think we should own the evolution part of what we do. (The rest of your answer was great too)

6
1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2011
at 03:53 PM

No, I'm 29 and have known all my life that I never wanted kids. Heck, even when I was a kid, I didn't really enjoy being around others of my age. I have little maternal instinct, and what I do have is used up on my birds, cat and dogs.

Going Paleo has not affected my sex drive or my nonexistent biological clock. Besides, I think this planet could do with a few less people as it is.

Note: I'm not one of those crazy human haters, who think our species is a cancer and that we should kill ourselves off by not reproducing, lol!

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:40 PM

Hey, my name is Kim too! Were we separated at birth? Lol

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on August 14, 2011
at 04:08 PM

I'd upvote you twice if I could - totally agree with your comment about overpopulation.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on August 14, 2011
at 06:21 PM

Ooooh - eerie!!

3
215d3126214343a5760316f195a06b97

on August 14, 2011
at 01:03 PM

Since I started having kids, the urge has never gone away. Since going paleo.. I'm about the same. I am just one of those people with a HUGE maternal drive, and I hate it! lol I know it should be a great thing, but really- I have 6 kids and I was SURE that once I hit 6 I would feel MORE than done. But no, I have many thoughts of "The kids get along so well, we could easily have a couple more." The only reason I won't is because the idea of going through labor and delivery again scares me. I am not one of those women who have easy labors, never :( And of course financially, things right now are tight, but it's temporary and soon things will be back to normal.
So I do hope to foster or adopt when my kids are a bit older.

D5e5788865a3d9a17a729097186e465f

on August 14, 2011
at 01:35 PM

WOW 6 kids :] I think you are my new hero! I have three right now, and for the time being we are *done*. I am terrified of going through child birth again, especially because of where we live, the hospital sucks really bad =\ I too hope to foster, or adopt if we ever have the finances etcetc.

3
2c8c421cf0e0c462654c7dc37f8b9711

(2729)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:18 PM

I've always wanted a large family, and just switched to paleo six months ago when my first kid turned one. I want at least one more child for many reasons, but one salient reason is to have a do-over on the pregnancy. With my son, I ate egg beaters, whole grain bread, drank soymilk... It was pretty awful. I would relish the chance to build a paleo super babby out of grass-fed liver, pastured bacon, and raw butter.

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 15, 2011
at 09:36 PM

Are you serious?

2
Medium avatar

(12379)

on August 15, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Yes! I was sure that I was done with one - until fairly recently I've been getting a huge wave of baby fever - so much so that I can feel it in my bones. Hubby is happy since he always wanted more than one. I never connected it to the diet, but it very well could be connected.

2
58cc17a77bca6e503dcf6bf6471b76a1

(478)

on August 14, 2011
at 05:03 PM

Nope..I'm in my mid 30s now and prior paleo, I didn't have any high sex drive either plus I had no maternal instinct towards kids- and I don't even like pets either. Strangely, I used to want to have kids when I was younger, but after I grew up more and saw how our society has turn into, the less I'd want to have my own breed. Beside there are more to that but I am not obligated to elaborate it any further. I don't hate kids, a lot of my married friends already have 1-2 kids and it's fun to seem them once in a while, but I know myself that I won't be able to be angelic to kids all the time if they'll always be screaming at me 90% of the time.

Good thing Hubby also on the same board with me regarding this.

1
696079a860ef54810406ae25e4650863

on August 15, 2011
at 09:18 PM

It's DEFINITELY increased my sex drive... But not my desire to have kids right away. I'd prefer to have them somewhat soonish, but the circumstances/man/life need to be decently squared away.

I owe it to my future children to make the best choices possible in advance of getting pregnant. I'm still recovering from being celiac (9 months in to Paleo) and Ive never felt better, but I want to make sure that my body has all the resources it needs for a happy, healthy baby. First priority is to maximize my own physical and mental health and expect the same of my mate. Hopefully I can have a heck of a lot of fun having sex in the meantime-just for practice, of course ;)

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 15, 2011
at 09:19 PM

Yes! This! "First priority is to maximize my own physical and mental health and expect the same of my mate."

1
Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on August 14, 2011
at 08:38 PM

Eating low carb significantly raised my sex drive...I conceived my second child post diet overhaul, and he's so much healthier in so many ways than my first child, conceived while following a strict vegan diet(and having been vegetarian and vegan alternately most of my life)...I definitely could have easily had more children, my pregnancy and labor post paleo were a relative breeze, but for a wide variety of reasons, we decided to be done, and my husband got a vasectomy...my sex drive has continued to grow to the point where I'm finally well matched with my husband, whose sex drive is remarkably high...I still get baby fever, but I think that's just normal for a fertile female human! I imagine if I hasn't ever switched my diet, I likely wouldn't have a sex drive(or a marriage) to speak of.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:31 PM

Yeah, I don't think having a troupe of children would have been ideal during the Paleolithic, and I don't think the desire to have so many is all that normal either--That sounds more like a male fantasy. Human offspring take considerably longer to reach maturity than most other mammals, and as a result a lot of time and effort goes into each one which you know from experience. Do you think you could handle an infant and toddler while trekking the savannah? Great apes tend to have only one baby at a time, and don't have another until the first one is old enough to take care of itself.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 15, 2011
at 10:44 PM

Chimps have a particularly long mother-infant dependency period, during which the infant will nurse for up to 5 years, and then hang out with mom for a few more years until maturity is reached at around 12 years. So chimps probably average one baby every 5-6 years, and then only when their current offspring is approximately as mature as a human teenager.

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on August 16, 2011
at 12:57 AM

Most of the women I have talked to who have had at least one baby get what I refer to as baby fever, and I do think this phenomenom is a product of hormones. I do agree that spacing babies many years apart is a good thing for the health of the mother and the children, but infant mortality rates are a heck of a lot lower than they were in paleolithic times, meaning that humans would want to procreate often to ensure some offspring would make it to adulthood. I have observed this longing in so many dozens of fertile mothers~we are still biologically programed to compensate for this, imho

957a563c7e4a165663fd3c71207c39da

on August 15, 2011
at 09:41 PM

I don't agree, "baby fever" is not normal for all fertile women.

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:07 PM

How do you explain the many women like myself who are fertile, at their childbearing peak, and yet have no desire for children at all? And do you most commonly see this "baby fever" in women who are already mothers?

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on August 16, 2011
at 12:48 PM

Could it be that once a woman becomes pregnant, she gets addicted to the rush of feel-good hormones, and associates that with having children from that point forward?

Ed983a42344945b1ff70fd9597a23493

on August 16, 2011
at 04:28 PM

I do think there is something that happens hormonally after a woman gives birth...maybe it's natures way of saying,"This female has proven herself to be fertile, quick! Turn that switch on to ensure the survival of the species!"

1
E7fc768abe673562268fefc529f62d89

on August 14, 2011
at 05:36 PM

LC paleo heightens my libido, but at 28 it's not making me want kids. Just sex. Hubby is happy.

1
78fcdeee6ac4ee7d071bbac56b9e359f

(1035)

on August 14, 2011
at 05:07 PM

Nope! I had a very strong urge to get pregnant when I was 25 and eating the SADs (I don't think I knew enough about babies and kids to have an urge for them, I just needed to be pregnant). I started eating a WAP style diet after my first was born, gradually moving into a paleo/WAP morph. I never got the urge to get pregnant again because I know knew what babies were like: really hard! I did want a sibling for my first so I did get pregnant again, and it was ten months of living in a black hole of desperation, but I got the sweetest little baby out of the deal. I've also heard that if women alone controlled how many kids they had (and not culture, religion, demanding partners or family), over population would not be the problem it is today.

1
5234aa58c906eaed4d2614634cc77773

on August 14, 2011
at 04:20 PM

I already had 3 kids when I started paleo. Granted, the switch to paleo/whole30 only happened a couple weeks ago, but so far, no increased desire to have more children. I do notice an increased sex drive, though, so maybe as my youngest gets a bit older, the idea of more children will become more appealing. I wouldn't mind!

1
5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 14, 2011
at 01:05 PM

Not a bit. But then again, I was 53 when I started and a grandmom. :-D

1
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on August 14, 2011
at 12:07 PM

As someone who was told by my endocrinologist in my early 20s when it was first discovered that I had PCOS, "You better start thinking about having kids right now or it might be too late" I have gone through a roller coaster of emotions as to whether or not I wanted to have kids. My early 20s were far too busy and I wasn't prepared to drop everything just to have a baby on my doctor's time frame so I resigned myself to not wanting to have kids (as adopting in the future would always be an option). Now that I am much healthier (yet on the brink of it becoming more difficult again to conceive as per Melissa's latest blog about the drop-off rate of healthy births due to age) I have thought more about wanting kids but honestly, I only think about having them now so I can do a paleo science experiment because I think I now know how to raise a healthy family (far healthier than I was raised). This, of course, is not a good reason to have kids because there's a lot more to it than that, obviously!

At this point, I'm fairly confident staying in the "not having/wanting kids" camp but perhaps if I had been able to fix my issues earlier I'd feel differently about the whole thing. When it comes right down to it, kids are costly and are a permanent fixture. You can't throw them back when you get tired of them (like I know I'd probably want to do on occasion).

TLDR edit: Sorry to be so longwinded, but to ultimately answer your question - did paleo make me want to have kids? Uh, yes, but for the wrong reasons.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Hahaha, I know, but it definitely tempting nevertheless! :)

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Haha, I know but it's definitely tempting nevertheless! :)

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:15 PM

I appreciate your candor. Please for the sake of your future children, do not have children to run Paleo science experiments. [*facepalm]

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 15, 2011
at 08:59 PM

My PCOS symptoms have been largely reversed on paleo, so no need to hurry. I think the fertility window only closes early for SAD PCOS sufferers. Live your life, take your time.

0
03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

on August 15, 2011
at 09:05 PM

Yes!

I didn't really want kids until I met the man I married a few years ago -- then I knew that someday we'd have to see what kind of interesting creature we could make together. Hubby is older than me (and has two older kids from a previous marriage) and would like kids together but knows that it's critical for me to be able to handle it, so I'm the variable here.

In my early/mid-20s and in grad school, it seemed like such a far away thing, and I knew I was nowhere near ready yet. I may be passionate and driven, but I'm also impatient, picky, needy, and a total wuss at personal suffering. I've got asperger's, so empathy and understanding aren't exactly my strong suits. I sure as hell didn't want to be responsible for another human being.

By the time I hit my late 20s, I was wondering if that "ready" time would ever come -- maybe we wouldn't have kids after all? I felt it would be irresponsible for me to have children when I felt I wouldn't be a great parent, and I figured I still had some time left, right?

Enter paleo, last spring...

By the winter I had a totally new level of energy. Also a modestly increased sex drive, but had a pretty healthy one before so it's not a massive difference. Looking better naked helps :) I also went from over a decade of the pill to a copper IUD, walk around barefoot, stopped washing my hair, yadda yadda. I lost 30 lbs, and I feel so much healthier and natural! Some negative aspects of my Aspie-ness have been reduced, and I just generally feel much more connected to the world and people around me, and better able to handle challenging situations without shutting down.

I'd always been fascinated with things like natural childbirth and attachment parenting, so reading things more recently like Ancient Bodies, Modern Lives and various blogs/threads around here has only reaffirmed my desire to do it right and raise a totally paleo baby or two.

I started Crossfit a couple of weeks ago and that is my last major goal in terms of "baby readiness" -- I'm only slightly overweight now and would like to get strong and fit before tackling pregnancy!

So yeah, over a year of paleo and it feels I've found my tribe, and it has in part been a big baby preparatory journey. I am very happy about that :)

0
F46d472ee4e097afd7e0081ed6f6ab21

on August 15, 2011
at 08:14 PM

Yes. Do I think its because of the diet? No. Currently, I'm 31. I've never had a strong maternal instinct. I can totally walk right by a baby without cooing at it. Unless its one of my nieces. I'd rather hang out with the adults in the room then play with the kids. Hell, I get tired just watching the kids run around. I've thought about having kids, but mostly in the context of "My life is complicated enough, I can't handle kids on top of this." I routinely tell people that between my husband and my dog, I'm already a single parent!

Since I've gone paleo though, I do find myself thinking more favorably about having children. I believe the reason for this is that when I got started on paleo, I listened to a lot of Sarah Fragoso & Chrissy Gower's podcasts. Having a paleo pregnancy & then raising a paleo child some how alays a lot of my fears of having kids. I don't know why because there is still a lot to be afraid of then just what they are going eat.

Anyway, that's my honest weight-in on the question. Unfortunately, I have not noticed any increase in my sex drive since going paleo, but this is probably due to 6+ years on the Pill.

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