Pregnancy can be contagious. Yes, it can! This according to a statement made by researchers.
The research team led by Henriette Engelhardt-Wölfler examined the data of more than 42,000 women from 7,600 companies from the years 1997 to 2007.
The scientists limited themselves to companies with a maximum of 150 employees. The findings showed that working women who decide to have a child can trigger a kind of chain reaction among their colleagues. If a work colleague became pregnant, the probability of other women having a child within a year doubled. Even in the second year, the desire to have children was still “contagious” – especially among colleagues whose age difference is a maximum of two years.
A study carried out in Norway in 2010 also showed that pregnancies can also be contagious among siblings.
The researchers suspect that positive experiences of expectant mothers can increase their desire to have children. Since some women are already gainfully employed before the birth of their first child, there is a great deal of uncertainty in many of them as to whether pregnancy will mean a break in their careers.
Family-friendly structures in companies and a secure job can also contribute to decision-making.