Pregnancy really is contagious among friends, study reveals

Pregnancy contagious

It can’t be a coincidence that as soon as one friend gets pregnant, your whole friendship group is suddenly expecting…

Turns out, there is actually a scientific reason behind all five of your best friends becoming pregnant at once.

Pregnancy really is contagious, according to a study published by the American Sociological Association.

The study looked at 1,720 women who participated in National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health in the United States from the 1990s to mid-2000s.

The research focused on women who had been friends with other women since their school days, and found that pregnancies do in fact spread like wild fire among a group.

‘Results show that net of confounding effects, a friend’s childbearing increases an individual’s risk of becoming a parent,’ the study says.

Though, don’t worry the baby boom effect lasts for only about two years.

So, if your best friend wants five children, this doesn’t have a knock on effect on you – you will not suddenly have five little tots running around.

Pregnancy contagious

Credit: Getty

The study says: ‘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.’

So, why are pregnancies announced like dominoes? – and no, it is not because of your synced menstrual cycles.

Well, since your mummy pals provide support and all the information you need to be an expectant mum,‘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.’

Naturally we compare ourselves to our friends, so our friends' decision to become a parent can in turn affect our own.

Friend’s make life transition decisions together, like getting engaged, getting married, and even getting pregnant.It brings your friendship group closer together.

The study says: ‘Synchronising childbearing with friends may reduce the risk of being left behind by friends who already have a child.’

So, if you’re worried that your little tot won’t have friends their own age – science says that is not the case.

Sibelle Mehmet
Junior Digital Writer

Sibelle Mehmet is a Junior Digital Writer at She joined the team in April 2019 and was her first job since completing a MA in Magazine Journalism at City, the University of London in the summer of 2019. Sibelle previously interned at a number of national titles including OK!, Heat, Closer, Mother & Baby, and The Times Newspaper magazine. She's written extensively about the latest celebrity, showbiz, and royal news.