Research: Having a Baby is Good for Your Social Life
Before the pitter-patter of tiny feet women have a circle of 13 friends on average but that grows to 22 in the year after the baby’s birth.
- New mums make an average of nine new friends in the first year
- 53% say it’s surprisingly easy to make friends after birth
- Almost half of mums make friends at mother and toddler groups
- 50% say it is easier to bond with other women after having a baby
- Four in ten are more comfortable sharing intimate information with new mummy friends
The research by Natures Purest shows strong bonds are created almost instantly amid exchanges of views, hints and tips on subjects such as childcare plans, illness and how to get baby sleeping through the night.
The survey found that 53 per cent of new mums felt it was surprisingly easy to make friends after having a baby and 70 per cent of those said it was because they had so much in common.
Nearly half of new mums made friends with other women at a mother and toddler group, 31 per cent struck up friendships in antenatal classes and a fifth met people through other friends.
Jane Albon, founder of Natures Purest, the brand of organic cotton baby clothes, toys and bedding which commissioned the study, said: “There is a misconception in society that starting a family will mean you are stuck indoors but it’s simply not true.
“Our research shows the opposite – becoming a mum can do wonders for your social life as there are so many groups and activities to become involved with.
‘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.
”Many women whose friendships evolved when their children were young go on to keep the same group of friends throughout their life and as a consequence the youngsters form strong bonds too.”
TOPICS OF CONVERSATION
More than half of the 2,000 mums polled said it was easier to bond with other women once you became a mother.
Sharing the experience of birth is by far the most popular topic of conversation for new mums – 73% would happily regale new friends with stories about their labour. Four in ten said they felt more comfortable sharing intimate and personal information with their mum chums who they had only recently met and the same number have discussed their post baby sex-life with relatively new buddies.
Almost 80 per cent have poured their heart out about their concerns of being good mum and the guilt over whether to go back to work after being on maternity leave. One in five have also discussed the baby blues with their mum pals.
Other topics for discussion were breast feeding, sleepless nights, nappies and baby ailments.
Jane Albon adds: “Almost a third of mums in our survey said they were worried about boring old friends with constant baby talk and this is part of the reason why new friendships are formed with other women who are going through the same experience.
“It’s natural to from strong bonds with other parents and it is clearly a fantastic opportunity for women to increase their social circle. In fact, one in three mums told us that their best friends were the ones they met through their children.”
The research also found that once a child reaches school age a mum’s circle of friends increases by another five people. Two thirds of those polled said they think it’s very important to get on with the parents of their kids’ school friends and a third said it helped reassure them when their children visited friends’ houses for tea.
Natures Purest offers a range of luxury baby clothing, toys and bedding for children aged 0 to six months all produced using organically grown, naturally coloured cotton. Visit www.naturespurest.co.uk.