Women who are trying to get pregnant are more likely to conceive if they live near their mother, a new study has found.
Researchers at the University of Essex studied the records of 2000 women of the same age, income, fertility and social class who were trying to start a family of their own.
They were stunned to discover that those living close to their mum or other close relatives were "significantly" more likely to get pregnant than those with family living further afield.
Researchers had theorised that having family — aka potential childcare — nearby would make women more relaxed, making her more likely to conceive, but they were shocked by the strength of the link.
"We were surprised that we actually found a significant effect," study leader Dr Paul Matthews said.
"We thought that maybe there might be a relationship, but we were surprised that the relationship remained even after we controlled for a whole myriad of social and economic background factors.
"Comparing two young women who have effectively the same income, education, religion, ethnicity, the young woman who is closer to her family still seems to find it significantly easier to have children."