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.
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