Do women avoid giving birth on Halloween?
posted at 5:15 pm on October 30, 2011 by Jazz Shaw
And here I thought everyone liked Halloween. The parties, the costumes, the candy, the chance to loot your neighbor’s homes without recrimination… (OK. Maybe that last one’s just around here.) Apparently there’s at least one group of people who don’t care for All Saints Eve… expectant mothers. And to prove the point, they avoid going in to labor on this holiday. (Though I’m not quite sure how they do that yet.)
Fewer women give birth on Halloween than on Valentine’s Day, finds a new study. But this may not be a mere calendar coincidence. Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health suggest that pregnant women appear to be swayed by the cultural symbolism of the two holidays — skeletons versus cherubs — and this might influence their baby’s arrival date.
They speculate that mothers-to-be may avoid delivering on the October holiday associated with death and witches. But scientists suspect that women have a more favorable view of Valentine’s day, which is linked with love and romance, and may try for a Feb. 14 delivery.
Researchers raise the possibility that pregnant women may have some control over the timing of childbirth. Their findings suggest that a spontaneous birth (giving birth naturally) may be less spontaneous than doctors previously thought.
I’d always assumed that women didn’t have much control over when the baby arrived or there wouldn’t’ be so many kids born in taxis. But the human body is a funny thing – far more so in the case of the mysteries of reproduction. Can mothers, on some subconscious level at least, “precipitate the will to resist giving birth,” as the article implies?
And what is it about Halloween in particular that could cause this? Are we still really caught up in the whole idea of bad luck, ghosts and goblins? Perhaps so. According to this poll from Rasmussen, 31% of Americans believe in ghosts, so maybe there’s something to it. Last time I checked that was roughly 22% more than believed in Congress.
Happy Halloween to the Hot Air reader community. And stay safe out there. Also, try not to go trick or treating at any of the OWS encampments. I hear they’re giving out bags of brown rice.