Getting pregnant is a huge development in any woman's life, and it's always nice to have people around you who are going through the same thing. When a group of friends all gets pregnant around the same time, they can rely on each other for support and guidance, and the entire process is much easier. This tight-knit group of friends doesn't feel alone as they get closer and closer to their due date. And as a matter of fact, this phenomenon is quite common. Friends really do tend to all get pregnant around the same time... In fact, it's so common that a group of scientists conducted a study to see why women are more likely to become pregnant in groups.
What they discovered might surprise some of our readers. According to this study published in the American Sociological Association Journal back in 2014, women are strongly influenced by their friends and the women around them when considering whether or not to become pregnant. Okay, so it's not exactly "contagious" in the same way as the common flu. But there are definitely psychological factors at play here that cause fertility and pregnancy to "spread" among women.
Upon hearing about this study, some might assume that women are motivated by their innate competitiveness with other women. They see other women get pregnant, and they don't want to be "left behind," so to speak. To some extent, the study confirmed these suspicions. But in addition, researchers found that there were very also different factors at play here. They found that instead of competing with the pregnant women around them, some new mothers were actually get inspired by them.
According to the research, seeing friends get pregnant and successfully making that jump into motherhood made other women feel confident enough to make the plunge themselves. As it turns out, positive feelings and thoughts are every bit as contagious as competitive vibes in this situation.
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This was an extensive study, spanning ten years and studying almost 2,000 different mothers. It's interesting to note that the study concluded in 2005, well before the modern revolution of social media. Today, we're even more likely to be confronted by other pregnant women in a much larger social circle. We're all connected. How is this impacting pregnancy? It's an interesting thought - although we don't have the answers.
For women who are thinking about pregnancy, this is an important psychological phenomenon to take into account. Do you really want to be influenced by others when you make your decision to get pregnant? Or do you want to come to this decision on your own terms? Now that you're aware of the psychological "contagiousness" of pregnancy, you might actually feel it happening to you as you look at your newly pregnant friends. And when you're aware of it happening, you can take a step back and ask yourself if you want to let this psychological phenomenon take control of your life.