Mother and Baby

Bump Buddies: Pregnancy Is ‘Contagious’ Among Friends

Found yourself feeling broody now that your friend’s pregnant? It could be because pregnancy is ‘contagious’, according to experts

Spotting all of those pregnancy reveals from former school friends on Facebook could be what ignited your broodiness, new research shows.

Experts claim that ‘childhood contagion’ is becoming a trend among female school friends once they’re in their 20s.

‘Being surrounded by friends who are new parents makes people feel pressure to have kids as well'

The study, published in the American Sociological Review, followed 1,700 US women from the age of 15 to 30 and looked at the impact of female senior school friends on the birth of first baby. The experts found that the average woman is aged 27 when she has her first child and discovered that if their close friends started having children, they did the same because they didn’t want to be left out.  

The study’s co-author Nicoletta Balbo, a postdoctoral fellow at Bocconi University, suggests that the reason behind this ‘contagion’ is that people compare themselves to their friends.

‘Being surrounded by friends who are new parents makes people feel pressure to have kids as well,’ says Nicoletta. She also says that becoming a mum at the same time as a friend means experiences are shared. ‘It’s also easier for people to remain friends when they are experiencing parenthood at the same time.

‘Overall, this research demonstrates that fertility decisions are not only influenced by individual characteristics and preferences, but also by the social network in which individuals are embedded.’

Did you get pregnant at the same time as a close friend? Or did you find your become bumped off by your friends when you were a mum-to-be? Share your experience below.

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