A newly released study has found that there is a marked decrease in births—both Cesarean sections and spontaneous—on Halloween, but, conversely, a rise on Valentine’s Day.
The findings of the Yale University study have researchers believing there is a possibility that pregnant women may be able to control the timing of spontaneous births, bucking traditional assumptions.
Researchers examined the results of 1.7 million births from a two-week period in February 2006 and 1.8 million births from a two-week period in October of that year.
There was a 12.1 percent increase in Cesarean-section births on Valentine’s Day and a 16.9 percent decrease in C-section births on Halloween.
But what surprised researchers was the change in spontaneous births: The data showed a 3.6 percent increase in births on Valentine’s Day and a 5.3 percent decrease on Halloween.
“How that would actually happen, we don’t know. One possible explanation is that there are studies that show that there are different kinds of psychological factors, which could have a role on hormones,” said Becca R. Levy, associate professor of epidemiology and psychology at Yale’s School of Public Health, who led the study.
The study was published in the October issue of Social Science & Medicine.
•$22 million verdict in a birth injury case involving blood arriving late for a transfusion
•$12 million recovery in a birth injury case
•$8 million settlement for a child who suffered a brain injury due to a delay in delivery
•$7 million recovery for a child left with cerebral palsy as a result of obstetrical negligence
•$7 million settlement for a woman who died just after delivering a baby
•$6 million settlement for an infant who suffered brain damage because a nurse midwife and nurses failed to manage fetal distress during labor
•$5.5 million recovery for a child who was brain injured at birth because an obstetrician failed to recognize signs of placental abruption
•$5.5 million settlement for the family of a 23-year-old woman who died after giving birth to her daughter