Home Love & Relationships Pregnancy Can Really Be Contagious Among Friends, Research Shows

Pregnancy Can Really Be Contagious Among Friends, Research Shows


I believe that baby fever is a phase that starts at a certain age but doesn’t really affect you until one of your best friends gets pregnant.

It all starts slowly. You reach a certain age and suddenly all of the people you know are starting to get married. Then, as time passes one by one, all of your friends start saying getting hitched. And before you know it, baby fever is everywhere around and your whole Instagram feed is flooded with cute photos of your friend’s babies.

All of a sudden, you feel as though you are missing out on something.

Do you know why?

Well, that is because baby fever is real. And, believe it or not, pregnancy is contagious. If you are still not convinced, I have science on my side to back me up on this.

According to research published in the American Sociological Review, the decision to have children can be influenced by very close friendships and social circles that stretch back to high school.

The authors followed 1700 women from the age of 15 to the age of 30 and they analyzed their friendships. By looking at the effects of high school friendships that lasted up to 15 years they concluded that a friend who has given birth might positively influence us to become a parent.

It’s simple. You are the average of the 4 people that you hang out with. That is why the researchers stated that a friend’s behavior can seriously influence us because we tend to compare ourselves to our close friends.

Moreover, they explained that there is a certain window for that influence. Apparently, the contagion is especially strong in that short period of time. 

However, the research didn’t find any connection between unintended pregnancies and high school friends, which suggests that friends do influence us when it comes to big life decisions.

Having in mind that some people have smaller families, the researchers also suggest that friendships and peer groups are sometimes more important than siblings. In a way, they are taking the place of our siblings and relatives.

When you think about it, a friend’s childbearing experience can be a truly important factor for this contagion. Having a friend who is managing motherhood can give you the confidence that you are strong enough to do the same. It can be an amazing source of knowledge and provide you with all of the crucial and useful information about the most important transition of your life. Becoming a mother.

Furthermore, they also stated fertility among friends can also be due to the fact that parenthood itself leads to life changes and high relational costs. Therefore, synchronized pregnancies with friends may also reduce the risk of being left behind by friends who already have a child. Plus, it can also help friends develop certain cost-sharing strategies.

So, what do you think? Have you caught the baby fever yet?

Stephanie Reeds