Science and Tech


Is Pregnancy 'Contagious' Among Women?

A new study found when one woman gets pregnant in high school, her friends are more likely to conceive within two years.
Posted at 5:47 PM, May 29, 2014

Hey gals — if your friends are starting to have babies but you aren't quite ready, a new study shows you should probably run before you catch baby fever. Seriously. 

"A new study shows the desire to become a mother is contagious among high school girls, starting right after a friend has a baby and then peaking two years later." (ViaKGW-TV)

"Experts say this may because women see their friends as a learning source for parenthood and some may feel pressure to keep up with their friends." (Via KMTR)

The study, published in the American Sociological Review, examined almost 2,000 American women — tracking them from 15 years old until about the age of 30. (Via Wikimedia Commons / David Roseborough

The study's co-author said the finding "demonstrates that fertility decisions are not only influenced by individual characteristics and preferences, but also by the social network in which individuals are embedded. In addition, it shows that high school friends impact our lives well after graduation." (Via EurekAlert!

There have also been studies showing other factors can influence pregnancy rates — such as co-workers or relatives. But this recent study is believed to be the first to show a connection between friends. (Via The Local

But the new study also showed the effect was short-term: Baby fever began to decrease again after two years.