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Carlo F. Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics

Study: Pregnancy is Contagious or Keeping Up with the Joneses includes Baby

No, you read that correctly. Recent research suggests that pregnancy can be contagious among friends. 
According to Nicoletta Balbo, a researcher at the Carlo F. Dondena Center for Research on Social Dynamics at Bocconi University in Italy, women in the same social circle will start to plan to have a baby shortly after discovering a friend is expecting or has just delivered a baby too.
The researchers analyzed data  from thousands of study participants beginning when they were just teens in the 1990s.  Tracking the subjects via interviews over time, they discoverd a pattern:  in each friendship pair, after a woman had a baby, the likelihood that her friend would also have her first baby went up for about two years, and then declined.
Social influence and peer pressure are two ingredients that determine ones likes, dislikes and preferences, Health Me Up noted. This study enforces what we suspected. We tend to replicate or want similar things that of our friends.
photo: Thinkstock/Getty

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