Have the pregnancy announcements in your friendship group ramped up recently? There may be a reason for claim experts.
This is because pregnancy is actually contagious – and scientists say they have the research to prove it!
A study, published by The American Sociological Association journal, looked at 1,720 women who participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health) in the United States over a ten year span from the 1990s to 2000s.
When the women started the experiment they were 15 years old and researchers found that more than half of the women in the experiment had a child by the end of the study.
One of the most mentioned factors for having a child was things such as “friendships ties”. This cites a probable reason for a strong “contagion” explain the study notes, as humans tend to behave to suit their environment and “interpersonal relationships” also helps influence the decisions we make.
“We found this effect to be short-term and inverse U-shaped: an individual’s risk of childbearing starts increasing after a friend’s childbearing, reaches a peak around two years later, then decreases,” concludes the study notes.
Factors that may influence you to have children
Experts believe having friends that have kids can change the direction of your fertility intentions.
1) If you see a friend manage her child it gives you confidence about raising your own child.
2) If your friends are having kids you may not want to feel “left behind”.
3) The study also found that the number of kids you have may also be determined by your friends. If you see a friend manage multiple children, it gives you the confidence to believe you can do it too.
4) From a cost-sharing standpoint, there are financial perks of having friends with kids as you can share childcare and coordinate activities.
“We anticipated that a friend’s childbearing experience may be an important source of learning, because it provides relevant and useful information about how to face the transition to parenthood,” say the study notes.
“Moreover, a friend’s behaviour can be a source of influence because people compare themselves to their friends.”
So there you have it. Pregnancy is scientifically contagious!
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie
Are you currently pregnant? Then you should try our yummy Healthy Mummy Pregnancy smoothie.
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is designed to complement, not replace, your prenatal vitamin intake. Our nutritionists ensured that the vitamins and minerals in the smoothie are at a low level so there is no risk of doubling up on any pregnancy vitamins.
It is ideal as a high-protein, high-calcium snack in pregnancy. You can download the Pregnancy Smoothie Label here.
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