parents

Having a baby improves your social life. Seriously.

By NICKY CHAMP

“Your life is over when you have kids!”

It’s a popular catch phrase often trumped out after announcing one’s pregnancy (there’s nothing like a happy congratulations) but as it turns out there’s an unexpected upside to starting a family.

A new study has revealed that having a baby actually improves your social life.

The UK survey of 2000 mothers conducted by Natures Purest, a natural baby products company, found that women make an average of nine new friends upon the birth of their first baby.

According to the research, childless women have an average of 13 friends (I guess when you cancel out a large number of your social media ‘friends’ that list really dwindles down) and that number increases to 22 by the time their offspring turns one.

The increase in friendship – unsurprisingly – is due to the popularity of community led mothers groups.

“Nearly half of new mums made friends with other women at a mother and toddler group, while 22 per cent struck up friendships in antenatal classes and a fifth met people through other friends,” Mail Online reports.

More than 50 per cent of the mothers polled said they found it easier to bond with other women once becoming a mother with 70 per cent of those revealing it was because they had so much ‘in common’.

And there’s nothing like regaling gory labour details and swapping birth stories to really cement a friendship. More than 70 per cent of the respondents reported they would happily share their birth experiences with their new friends. And nearly 40 per cent said they divulged details about their post-baby sex lives with their new friends.

Other popular topics of conversation were ‘mother guilt,’ returning to work after maternity leave, depression and the in-and-outs of being a new mother; nappies, breastfeeding and the big one – sleepless nights.

One in three of the mothers polled said they were concerned about boring their old friends by constantly talking about their new babies.

A spokeswoman for Nature’s Purest said this was partly the reason why new friendships are formed so quickly – and once the bond is formed they keep the same group throughout their lives.

“Having a baby is a life-changing experience, especially if you are a first time mum, so it’s important to have friends in a similar position.’You need people who can understand what you’re going through and can offer both emotional and practical support – whether you want a shoulder to cry on, a friend to offload on, or just reassurance that you are doing things right.”

 Do you have more or less friends now that you’re a mother? If you had one, do you still keep in contact with your mothers group? 

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