There's a good chance your decision to have a baby came, at least in part, from your friend from back in high school. New research shows that if she had a baby, chances were greater that you would, too.

New findings indicate that among young women who planned their pregnancies, there was a significant social boost from seeing friends get pregnant ahead of them. Nicoletta Balbo, who coauthored the research, told Reuters Health, “In our study we focus on high school friends because the later a friendship is formed, the more likely it is that the individual chooses the friends on common future family plans or common family orientations." Researchers followed study participants since they were adolescents in the 1990s, and kept up with them through follow-up questions  They found that after one of the women in each friendship pair had a baby, the likelihood that her friend would also have her first baby went up for about two years, and then declined after that.

Balbo, the study co-author, says, "The first mechanism that might be at play is the so-called social influence. We all compare ourselves to our friends and being surrounded by friends who are parents makes us feel pressure to conform to parental status as well.”The second phenomenon, she says, is learning: As young women gather information from their friends about what it takes to be a parent, they're more willing to experience it themselves.

Source: The New York Daily News