Why Pregnancy Is Not for Me

ritual by Monik Markus (CC BY)

ritual by Monik Markus (CC BY)

Maybe we’re an evolutionary adaptation; spreading memes instead of genes is a more efficient means of reproduction, less destructive to the environment. We’re propagating ourselves throughout the noosphere instead of lousing up an already overpopulated planet with yet more human beings. —Tim Kreider
Why on Earth would I sign myself up for almost ten months of nausea, hemorrhoids, night sweats, and getting fat? Nope, no thanks. I’ll just take the sex part, please. —Jincey Lumpkin
More and more women are deciding they do not want to give birth and are adopting, fostering, or choosing surrogacy. And (shocker) a lot of women are choosing to not have children at all. . . . it’s getting even more important that we start changing the dialogue around this topic. —Jessica Murnane


Despite endless marketing and collective myths to the contrary, humans are animals. Like animals, we procreate. But humans also have the ability to think abstractly, to form complex thoughts, to mentally project backward and forward in time. This mental power means we can consider the consequences of our actions and make decisions accordingly. So while having babies is natural, here’s why pregnancy is not for me.


I have several chronic health problems that are difficult enough to manage without transforming my body chemistry and mechanics with the physical and mental stress of pregnancy. It may be a magical and transcendent experience, but for me the risks of hormonal flux and added labor outweigh the potential rewards.


At 7.3 billion people and counting, the world is already bursting at the seams. One out of every 7 people is undernourished. Tens of millions of people lack affordable housing and hundreds of millions are displaced by war, poverty, and persecution. Thanks to human activity the ice caps are melting, seas are rising, natural resources are dwindling, and tens of thousands of species have become extinct. Fewer people means less stress on the planet and all the creatures who call it home.


Millions of children have no parents. If you have enough love, money, and motivation to raise a child, why not care for one who wants more than anything for someone to take them home? So they won’t have your father’s eyes or your partner’s nose. The bonds of family are created with love and commitment, not blood and likeness. And you can still share the most important traits—your values and traditions.


Make no mistake—I love children. I prefer them to most grownups. But having a baby isn’t for everyone. If I want a family, I’ll make one. Not by getting pregnant, but by thinking beyond gene pools and descendants and ego, giving myself and the planet a break, and reaching out to those who need me.


  1. Well said. It seems the human species can be well managed by its individual parts. Very comforting to know as the planet of my youth faces the daunting task of hosting the next 9 billion of us. I trust your younger readers will give full mindful consideration to your perspective.

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