The Real Deal About Baby Fever

Today, February 4, marks the one year anniversary of Kylie Jenner's YouTube video announcing the birth of her and rapper Travis Scott's daughter, Stormi Webster (not to be confused with February 1, Stormi's actual birthday). This monumental occasion left the entire world shook as she made her announcement and dropped a teaser of the video via her Instagram and Twitter accounts on the day of America's favorite holiday, the Super Bowl. It came as a surprise that a member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, known for having their lives on full display, would take a step back from the spotlight. Jenner acknowledged in her statement that she chose to keep her pregnancy a secret in order to do what was best for her and her unborn child. 

Currently, the To Our Daughter video has 80 million+ views on YouTube. The 11 minute-long video featured emotional messages from friends and family, doctor visits, and an inside look into her glamorous pajama party-themed baby shower. The video montage culminates in short clips and audio recordings that give viewers an intimate glimpse in the hospital room as Jenner gives birth. I'll admit, after watching the video and dissecting every part of it with my friends, the thought of having a baby was planted in my mind. Throughout that week, this thought continued to be present in my mind as my social media feeds seemed to be flooded with cute baby-related content. Even while I was out at the mall or grocery shopping, curious, wide-eyed babies seemed to make direct eye contact with me more than usual. This sudden overload of babies invading my thoughts made me believe I had a case of "baby fever". Which leads us to the question...

What is "baby fever"?



According to Time, "baby fever" is a physical and emotional phenomenon that describes an individual's unquenchable desire to have a baby. Back in 2011, researchers Gary and Sandra Brase from Kansas State University conducted several studies to discover if baby fever exists and published their findings in the academic journal Emotions. The husband and wife team found that women were more likely to long for a baby of their own. This longing for motherhood decreased with age and experience, while "baby fever" in men increased with age. Both men and women were reported to have around the same level of "baby fever" when they hit their 30s. The Brases main conclusions from the study included that "baby fever" is normal for individuals, its intensity can vary greatly between people and within an individual over time, and that it is possible to not experience "baby fever" at all. In addition, the Brases found that an individual can possess positive and negative associations with babies at the same time; these associations are shaped by previous experiences and potential, life-altering trade-offs (less money, less sleep, or a delay in reaching professional goals).



Clearly, the topic of Kylie Jenner's pregnancy occupied the minds of many following the initial confirmation statement and video. The Internet, was once again, shook a couple days later when Kylie posted a picture announcing her baby's name, which became the most liked photo on Instagram (until recently, when it was beaten out by an egg). In conclusion, its totally possible to have "baby fever" from watching Instagram videos of cute kids doing things, while still acknowledging that having a baby costs time and money. It's also a possibility to not have "baby fever" at all but still smile at a toddler you pass by in a store. Whether or not the To Our Daughter video sparked warm and fuzzy thoughts about babies within yourself, one thing to acknowledge is that Kylie Jenner triumphantly pulled off a secret pregnancy and managed to catch even the ones who suspected she was pregnant off-guard with her announcement. What's that saying the kids have these days? The devil works hard, but Kris Jenner works harder.