According to a study, the reason why so many women in a circle get pregnant or give birth to babies around the same time is that they are influenced by their friends having babies. A lot of people think that getting married and having babies turns into a competition for women but it is the opposite. It is a psychologically contagious thing. Looking at a close friend’s pregnancy can actually impact a woman positively and imbibe feelings of responsibility and confidence in them, making them more prone to take on the role and duties that come along with motherhood.
A research was conducted in the American Sociological Association Journal which proved that rather than relying on their own capability, women are likely to gain confidence when they see their friends bringing up children.
Researchers involved in the study analyzed profiles of more than 1700 women for over ten years, between 1995 to 2005. This included women who regarded each other as close friends and mentioned being together for long. When results were collected later, it was observed that more than half the woman in the study, had children. Observing patterns made experts realise there was a common contagion present among all the women who got pregnant around the same time. Further observations also found out that apart from seeing their friend get pregnant, women were more likely to get pregnant so that they don’t feel left out and be socially accepted. It was also seen that women gained confidence in knowing that they can experience the journey and partake in activities together if both friends were pregnant. Thus, one woman having a baby positively influences the other.
When a woman sees another woman pregnant, it subconsciously affects her and the fertility hormones also go on a high. This makes them want to get pregnant and take on the role too. And, it does not just stop at pregnancy. It might also make women take major life decisions when they observe their friends’ life and feel that they can relate to it.