Obsessed With Having a Baby? Dr Phil’s Tips for Women

baby obsessionIf you really want to get pregnant – or if you’re obsessed with having a baby, pregnancy, and all things baby-related – check out Dr Phil’s tips. He talked to three women consumed with yearning to have a baby.

I watched Dr Phil’s show on women obsessed with having a baby so I could share his tips — which I thought would be helpful I also was curious about what his guest speaker (a top fertility doctor) would say.

But halfway through the show, I was infuriated with Dr Phil’s advice to couples obsessed with having a baby! And I was mad at the fertility doctor, who kept telling the couples that they should go to his fertility clinic, that they’re good candidates for in vitro fertilization, and that fertility treatments are expensive but worth it. Sheesh. I hoped for more well-rounded, balanced advice!

Dr Phil encouraged all three couples to have kids no matter what the cost. Even if one partner was lukewarm about having kids (the husband in all three cases, for various reasons), he should keep trying to get her pregnant, keep trying to make her happy, and keep trying to fulfill her dreams of having children.

I think this is wrong. I think there’s a point where we have to stop trying — stop obsessing with having a baby! That’s why I recommend books like Sweet Grapes: How to Stop Being Infertile and Start Living Again - to help women find joy in other ways.

If you’re obsessed with getting pregnant but doing nothing productive about it, read Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health. It’s been the bestselling book on getting pregnant for a long, long time.

Here’s why Dr Phil’s tips for women obsessed with having a baby weren’t helpful at all – and perhaps even damaging.

Are You Obsessed With Having a Baby?

Dr Phil had one tip for women who want to have a child: do everything you can to get pregnant.

I thought this show would cover a variety of options for infertile couples…but the words in vitro fertilization, intrauterine insemination, and predicting ovulation were barely mentioned. They certainly weren’t defined or described! Nothing about adoption, fostering kids, or surrogate motherhood was mentioned.

The fertility doctor was advertising his services on Dr Phil

Every time the doctor was asked for his opinion, he talked about how great the chances of success for in vitro fertilization were, how he can help them get pregnant, and how simple infertility treatments are. I understand that Dr Phil’s experts have their own agendas…but this was the first time that I felt that an expert was trolling for business. This doctor didn’t offer any tips to help women obsessed with having a baby – he just wanted their business at his fertility clinic.

The central message was that life is all about getting pregnant

I thought for sure Dr Phil would help these women see that there is more to life than having children! Sure, getting pregnant and having kids is exciting and fills a deep yearning for many women. Yes, I’d love to have a baby. But a woman’s life can’t revolve around having kids to the exclusion of all else! If a woman can’t get pregnant, she has to move beyond her desire for children.

And, I think she has to be open to the possibility of accepting a childfree life even while she’s trying infertility treatments and praying hard for a baby.

The roots of the women’s obsession to have a baby were not considered

Being obsessed with anything – getting pregnant, buying a bigger better house, advancing your career – isn’t a sign of emotional health. I’m obsessed with writing and building my blogs…and if I went on the Dr Phil show and he told my husband to buy me more laptops and do everything in his power to make sure I fulfill my dream of earning six figures as a web writer, then Dr Phil would be called an enabler. Millions of viewers would write in, shocked and appalled.

I tuned in to Dr Phil today because I was sure I’d hear about how women cope with fertility problems in positive, healthy ways. I thought I’d hear from women who tried everything to get pregnant and wanted to share what they learned.

Instead, all I heard was “do everything in your power to get pregnant, no matter how much it costs.” The message this sends to men and women is that getting pregnant is the most important thing in life. Forget about different, healthy ways to cope with infertility: focus on fertility treatments and having babies at all costs.

You can live a happy, fulfilling life even if you don’t get pregnant and have biological babies. Read Childlessness and Happiness – Why I’m OK With Being Childless for a healthy, happy perspective.

If you’re still obsessed with having a baby, read How Do You Get Pregnant When You Can’t Afford Fertility Treatments?


laurie blowing kiss

I'm glad you're here and welcome all your comments, but I can't give advice.
Peace and blessings,
Laurie

What do you think of Dr Phil’s tips for women obsessed with having a baby? I’d love to hear from you below…

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23 Reader Comments

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  1. Dr. GLJ says:

    Hello:

    I saw the episode that you are speaking above re: women obsessed to get pregnant. I was furious at Dr. Phil for missing the boat and would have fired him today. First of all, the first couple (lady that is a nurse who works around babies) is psychologically unstable. You can look at her body language, energies, etc. She has problems….I would not allow her to work with babies at this time in fear she “breaks” and decides to take one and take off and not be found.

    All the women are trying to fill a void. They all need help in ways other than infertility. Dr. Phil kept saying that getting your wife pregnant is the best gift you can give her. I disagree. I think that was a “good ole boy” mentality and he needs to set aside his testosterone for a minute and look at the psychological aspects of these women.

    I would love to have an update on these women to see if they did get pregnant…or divorced. By the way, I do not support procreation in multiple numbers at this time in the world. You are leaving your children behind in a disasterous mess…how selfish can you be. There is far more to life than having children. Wake up ladies and find out what your true journey is before it is too late.

  2. Laurie says:

    A reader left an interesting comment on one of my other articles – she said that women obsessed with having a baby don’t realize what they’re obsessed about. That is, they don’t know how difficult having a baby really is. Many women get pregnant, have kids, and hate being mothers….so, women obsessed with getting pregnant are obsessed with something not real, that they have no experience with.

  3. A.Roddy says:

    I know this is an old article but it seems there is still denial about babies and pregnancy being an obsession. I am appalled but in some ways not surprised at Dr.Phil’s reaction. It is typical. He said the very thing you are not suppose to tell those who are struggling with fertility: try harder. It is also not wise to mention adoption. An infertile couple wants their baby not an adopted child. You have to jump thru some many hoops and you could end up disappointed. It isn’t to say they may never adopt but it should be something considered carefully. A child should be adopted to benefit the child not because of an obsession. I think Dr.Phil may be the one needing help.

  4. Dear Mallory,

    Thanks for your comment – I’m glad you can see how bad Dr Phil’s advice is, even though you want a baby badly! You seem like a smart, insightful woman. I hope you meet a family man soon :-)

    I haven’t read this article on Dr Phil’s tips for women obsessed with having a baby for a long time — and I’m infuriated all over again! I bet the fertility doctor paid Dr Phil – it was an hour long infomercial.

    I wonder if the couples on Dr Phil’s show ever did get pregnant, using the fertility doctor’s in vitro fertilization.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  5. mallory says:

    Ok that is horrible advice. I’m obssesed with having children and have to remind myself everyday why I can’t. Not everyone should have children. For me its cus one I’m not married and can barly afford myself let alone a child. If I fallowed his advice I would be poking holes in condoms. That’s just not responcible advice. He is an enabler.

  6. Hi Jennifer,

    Thanks for your comment! I love hearing from women who don’t plan on having children, who aren’t obsessed with getting pregnant, and who are happy and fulfilled.

    Did you hear about the research that shows that parents aren’t any happier than non-parents? When we want something so bad, we think the world revolves around that thing and it’ll make us soooo happy. But, like you said, a child isn’t just about the “gootchee gootchee goo” and cuteness of babies who smile and are happy all the time.

    Anyway – I appreciate you for being here, Jennifer.

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hi Laurie
    I totally agree that there is purpose to a womans life if she doesnt have a child. I also think that it is emotionally unhealthy to obsess about something as much as people obsess about having a baby. Do people think about the reality of it all? do they see past the cute baby stage and the responsibility of bringing a child into the world? Perhaps 80% of the time they do but when you hear people saying they want a baby to complete them or so they have someone to love them and all that.. i just think its not fair for the child. There should be more focus is schools on the reality of having a child.
    Also are councelling services part of fertility clinics.. is there a focus on addressing the need/obsession that someone has to try and find a balance.
    I can be as maternal as the next woman but i dont think my life is lacking because i dont have a child and dont plan to. It really is possible to be happy and fullfilled as a woman without being a mother.
    thanks
    Jennifer

  8. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Marcia,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment — and your venting is no problem! In fact, it was fascinating :-)

    I totally agree that Dr Phil’s standards have sunk to Jerry Springer or even Maury Povich’s level! It’s very voyeuristic. When he first started, I loved how he’d counsel people about eating disorders, relationships, work problems, etc because there seemed to be something for everyone. But now it’s much more soap opera-ish.

    I’m sorry to hear about the friend of your family, who couldn’t get pregnant and was berated on Dr Phil. That’s too bad, that now she’s devastated and probably confused about whether she should keep trying to get pregnant, or give up and focus on other things…that’s sad. I hope she finds someone wise and supportive to talk to, whether it’s a counselor or woman who’s made peace with infertility, or a mom who kept trying to get pregnant and succeeded….

    Take care, Marica, and I hope to see you again in cyberspace!

    Laurie

  9. Marcia says:

    Hi Laurie,
    Even though it’s an older article I would like to comment on the Dr Phil show you wrote about concerning getting pregnant at any cost.
    Although I DO NOT watch Dr. Phil, I believe he has lowered his standards to Jerry Springer’s level of entertainment “TRASH TV”, he has an up coming show that I will be watching. A friend of our family was asked to come to the show because they are not having success becoming pregnant. The couple was asked to get websites of baby supplies to provide to show representatives. They were led to believe Dr. Phil was going to assist them with their hardship and possibly provide the couple with some nice gifts. Instead he berated them for trying so hard to get pregnant. That they should consider counseling. This is a complete 180 from the Sept 09 show you have listed on your website. She was devastated. I wonder what friend he was promoting on this show? Needless to say our friend is now dealing with the scars he left..So now she has two hardships in her life. She is so sweet, a genuine person that would be a terrific mom. For him to treat her in that manner is inexcusable.
    Just wanted to vent to someone.
    Thanks for listening.
    Marcia

  10. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Hi Purplebrick,

    Thanks for your comment — I’m sorry to hear about your girlfriend getting pregnant. I don’t know if it’s a formal psychological condition (being obessed with having a baby) — that’s an interesting question!

    But what really matters is what you’re going to do with wanting to get out of a relationship with a pregnant girlfriend. If she decides to keep the baby (which she probably will, being obsessed with getting pregnant and all), then you have a moral, ethical, and legal obligation to help her care for the child. I don’t know what this will look like — every couple is different.

    You need to sit down with her and figure out where your relationship is headed, and what role you’ll play in the baby’s life. It’s very sad that she got pregnant against your will (that’s not morally or ethically right — and yet you have to live up to your moral and ethical obligations! doesn’t seem fair).

    But, the bottom line is that it’s not the baby’s fault. That kid didn’t ask to be born, and is totally innocent. It’s up to you and your girlfriend to provide a stable, loving, safe environment for him or her. You don’t necessarily need to marry her or even stay in a relationship with her to do that (thought two parent homes are really good for kids — depending of course on the type of parents and the environment!).

    Who can you talk to, to review your options? Maybe you could call Planned Pregnancy or even a local help line…they’ll be able help you find the right resources and decide what your next step is.

    I wish you all the best, and hope you let me know how things go…

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  11. Purplebrick says:

    I am certain that my girlfriend got pregnant out of an obsession with having a baby and that this was against my will. Now I am feel trapped and I want out. I just don’t know what to do? This is a different kind of obsession and I would like to know whether there is a know psychological condition for this? Can someone help with some comments or stories to share?

  12. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen says:

    Tania, thanks for your thoughts — you sound like a kind, reasonable woman! I wish you all the best in your decision whether or not to have kids…I don’t think I’ll have children, and I don’t feel that bad about it at all. Not everyone is cut out to be a mother. Maybe that’s why Dr Phil’s advice to women obesessed with having a baby struck such a nerve with me!

    Belinda….I’m sorry to hear about your mom going for in vitro fertilization at this stage of her life. What a sad situation. I don’t think you can take any legal action against the fertility clinic, to prevent her from getting pregnant. I actually don’t think you can do anything to stop her. But, the chances that she gets pregnant through in vitro fertilization at her age are quite small. This isn’t very empowering news, I know, but she’s a grown woman, even though not a very mature or responsible one!

    You might want to call the fertility clinic and talk it through with a nurse or doctor there, but I honestly don’t think you can do stop things from happening.

    If your mom does get pregnant and have a baby, you’ll have to draw the line at babysitting for her. You’ll have to set boundaries and stick to them…but don’t worry about that bridge until you come to it!

    Blessings,
    Laurie

  13. Belinda says:

    My mother is 52 years old and trying to get pregnant through invitro fertilization. I am 27 years old and I have 2 sisters, 24 and 25 years old. My mother didn’t take good care of us when we were little even though she had the money to do so. She has 3 grandkids, ages 7, 4, 16 months, and 13 months which she does nothing for. She can’t even handle watching them. Shouldn’t there be some research done or a psych evaluation by the doctor before allowing someone like this to have this procedure done? She also has MS and is an alcoholic. Is there some legal action that I can take towards the doctor? I ask this because if she had a baby, my sisters or myself will end up being the ones to care for it and we are all struggling to care for our own children. With her age alone there should be some kind of restriction on this.

  14. Tania says:

    As a 26 year old girl who is thinking about being childless I do agree with you on some points that being a women is not always about being a mother. I myself find it annoying how motherhood is glamorized and seems to be the pinnacle of happiness (yeah right!) but I think I do have to disagree at one point. Even though I am happy to be without children and blissfully content in being just married one day I still think it is a very personal choice. A lot of woman really do want children desperately they have the ‘yearning’ thing going on which can be unbearably powerful (which I have never felt and hope I never do)and for these people having a child is what makes them happy. I mean the choice we make to be childless is a choice we make because in the end we believe it will ultimate makes us happy. Their choice to have children is as powerful as our choice not to have them and we need to respect that. I think the people Dr.Phil has selected are people who really, really want children and not people who have this idiotic unrealistic gaga fantasy of what motherhood/parenthood would be (at least I hope so)I think there are honest to good people out their who realize that having a child is not a walk in the park and they want to be pregnant and they can’t. A lot of anguish and hurt would be caught up in that and I think Dr.Phil was just trying to help.

  15. Carrie says:

    I don’t have children, I saw Dr Phil’s show, and I agree that he put far too much emphasis on getting pregnant and having babies. Obsession with getting pregnant isn’t healthy.

  16. Laurie PK says:

    Ellen,

    I hope you see the fertility doctor as soon as possible; four years of trying to get pregnant without success is a long time!

    Best of luck, and come back anytime of you have questions or thoughts to share…

    Laurie

  17. Laurie PK says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Carrie!

    And I agree with so many things you said — I don’t know what it’s like to have such a strong need (or obsession) with getting pregnant and having kids…and giving people the benefit of the doubt is good advice.

    I’m glad you commented :-)

    Laurie

  18. Carrie says:

    I agree with Dr. Phil. That man is rarely wrong. Some women have a stronger need to have babies than others. They cannot just change how they fill and we only go around once so I say give it every chance before you give up on the idea of children. Don’t leave any stone unturned. You can at least say you did everything in your power. I was always very fertile when I was young but I did not have a husband. I still allowed myself to have a child and he is my life. I got pregnant on the first try with him through natural means. Eveything went well but I understand not all people are this blessed. I wish them luck with the specialists. That man might have been selling his services but he probably really wants to see people suceed in having babies. You don’t know what goes through the minds of others. Give them the benefit of the doubt…

  19. Ellen H. says:

    I didn’t see the Dr Phil show women obsessed with having a baby, but i wish I could get pregnant. We’ve been trying for 4 years, and nothing. It’s time to go to the fertility doctor, I think.

  20. Laurie PK says:

    Hi JayJay — thanks for your comment! Glad to see I’m not alone. I’m also really hoping to hear from women who watched the Dr Phil show and found it helpful. And, I’d love to know his viewer responses — were the majority upset or happy with his tips for women obsessed with having a baby?

    Hi Jennifer, great to hear from you! Regarding women who get pregnant after adopting — it’s an urban myth. People kept telling me that and I knew it wasn’t as common as everyone seems to believe, so I looked it up. Turns out it happens in about 10% of the cases. I think I wrote about it here on Couples Coping With Infertility and gave the original reference. If you’d like, I can post the link here — just let me know. But, my belief is that it happens far less often than people think.

    International adoptions are scarey for so many reasons: expense, difficult governments, travel, health issues….but I know couples adopt internationally and love it! One couple I know adopted a set of twins from Haiti, and 4 years later adopted a second set of Haitian twins. They’re thrilled, but international adoptions definitely aren’t for everyone. I don’t think it’s for me.

    Like with everything: some things work for some individuals and couples, and some things don’t. The key is figuring out what works for you as a woman and you as a couple. And, figuring out what’s holding you back from adopting might be helpful. If you just don’t wanna do it, then that’s cool. But if it’s an unhealthy fear-based reason (eg, fear of what parents or community will think of an Asian or African baby), then it might need to be explored further.

    Hi Valerie — thanks for your comment — and congratulations on your baby! So sweet, I can’t stop myself from smiling :-). I agree, that if we can’t have children and want them, we should at least THINK about other options. A big part of me thinks it’s ridiculous to spend $12,000 plus per month (per month!!!!) for in vitro fertilization because you’re obsessed with getting pregnant and having children. And all those hormones and needles…..but another part of me understands that many women yearn to have their own kids.

    And that’s where Dr Phil comes in: I thought he’d be the voice of reason and objectivity, offering a variety of options for couples coping with infertility. Instead, *&^%$#) !!

    But adoption can be very, very expensive, too. Private adoptions in my city are upwards of $12,000, and it seems public adoptions don’t offer many healthy infants.

    Anyway — I thank you three for being here, and hope to hear from you again.

    I also welcome women who saw the Dr Phil show about being obsessed with having a baby, and who have different opinions than mine….love to hear your thoughts!

    Laurie

  21. Valerie says:

    Hey Laurie,
    I watched the show yesterday and agree that Dr. Phil should have touched base with other available options..Just having a baby myself, I feel for the woman on the show who is almost 40 and desperately trying to have a child..I’m sure she would make a GREAT mom. I was hoping for Dr.Phil to talk about adopting. There are so many unwanted babies and children in this world that deserve a fair chance at life. Sometimes I believe that women who are unable to have children…don’t have them for a reason..Maybe there fate is to save an unwanted baby/child. That to ME is the greatest gift you could ever give to humanity..

  22. Jennifer says:

    Hey Laurie,
    My interest was peaked by the post you made on Facebook regarding the show that Dr. Phil did. Of course I didn’t see the show, but I was very interested, like you, to see what he would say about the obsession. I immediately started thinking am I obsessed with getting pregnant? I am not sure; my husband and I definitely want to have a baby and so far have not been successful. Though we haven’t gone too far with doctors. We had one miscarriage 5 years ago and nothing since. The interesting thing is that we had decided to adopt when that happened. That seems to happen a lot – people get pregnant when they start going through an adoption. What do you think? We are looking into international adoption now and the process seems terribly overwhelming and scary. My husband is willing to go for it, but I seem to be the one holding back.

  23. JayJay says:

    As a childfree woman, I totally agree with you. I was absolutely APPALLED with Dr. Phil.

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