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.

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the chance to loot your neighbor’s homes without recrimination

That only applies to people still living in Detroit.

simkeith on October 30, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Is there also a spike in the abortion rate?

OldEnglish on October 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM

Since my daughter just presented us with our third grandchild last night, I can tell you that she definitely did not want her son’s birthday to be celebrated on Halloween. And she wasn’t even due until Nov. 15. Who would want to have their child’s birthday always competing with Trick or Treat?

Coming from someone with children born the 14, 22, and 26 of December…at least the last two were due in January.

spudmom on October 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM

You’d be surprised how many women affect their baby’s birth date by scheduling an induction. When I was at 38 weeks with my 1st child my doctor said, “Alright, we can schedule you an induction now.” She was *shocked* that I turned her down. She said most of her patients can’t wait to schedule.

firefoxy on October 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM

According to this poll from Rasmussen, 31% of Americans believe in ghosts…

Me too…I’ve seen one when I was a kid and have never forgotten it.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Me too…I’ve seen one when I was a kid and have never forgotten it.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Scary. Please do tell

TheQuestion on October 30, 2011 at 5:52 PM

October 31 happens to be Adoption Day in our family… It is the day that our final adoption was granted by the court… We celebrate with a small gift and a card to our daughter. We see Halloween as a most blessed day around these parts…

kringeesmom on October 30, 2011 at 5:58 PM

My daughter was born Halloween :-)

She turns 3 tomorrow !

She was actually due on Nov. 19 . lol

cableguy615 on October 30, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Jet Boy do you listen to Coast 2 Coast AM w/George Noory ? Pretty wild stuff from the callers especially this time of year

cableguy615 on October 30, 2011 at 6:10 PM

My son’s birthday is Oct 28 and it’s a bit stressful in that there’s 2 major things within few days to plan for. He’s (8yrs) not interested in Halloween themed parties so we’ve just done casual birthdays at home. I had a friend born on Halloween and he didn’t mind it at all once he got older. Everyone always went out to party so he was guaranteed a good time!

Renwaa on October 30, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Also, try not to go trick or treating at any of the OWS encampments. I hear they’re giving out bags of brown rice.

Um, that isn’t rice… Be extra careful out there.

Fallon on October 30, 2011 at 6:19 PM

I hear they’re giving out bags of brown rice.

It might be brown but I wouldn’t trust that it is rice.

chemman on October 30, 2011 at 6:32 PM

They probably looked at a years worth of data and wrote an article about the holidays with the highest and lowest birth rates. Whatever they found they could find an ex-post explanation for it.

pedestrian on October 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

They probably looked at a years worth of data and wrote an article about the holidays with the highest and lowest birth rates. Whatever they found they could find an ex-post explanation for it.

pedestrian on October 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Ah, modern “science” where our top scientists do not know the difference between correlation and causation. See, for example, climate change.

cobrakai99 on October 30, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Not sure about the “not giving birth on Halloween” thing but I once dated a girl that was ABSOLUTELY ADAMANT about not getting pregnant on Halloween. Worst Halloween part EVER!

Talon on October 30, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Better than April Fool’s Day.

viking01 on October 30, 2011 at 7:53 PM

*&One of my sisters was born on October 30, 1956 in the back seat of a 1953 green Oldsmobile 88 with the obstetrician in the back seat and my father who was a radiologist driving. They were told by my Mother that this child was coming tonight and told to go to bed. She turned out to be right.
* My Father was born was born on October 29, 1920, he died in 1985.
* My Father’s only sister was born on October 27, 1917. I just went to her 94th birthday

SC.Charlie on October 30, 2011 at 8:05 PM

Do women avoid giving birth on Halloween?

Witch women?

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on October 30, 2011 at 8:12 PM

My wife is due Nov 17th. She doesn’t want the baby to come tomorrow because she wants to go trick or treating with our son.

I don’t want our daughter to arrive tomorrow because my wife has a c-section scheduled for 11/11/11 (the doctor’s choice, not ours) and that would be a pretty cool birthday.

strictnein on October 30, 2011 at 8:25 PM

Is there also a spike in the abortion rate?

OldEnglish on October 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I don’t know if you would call it ‘abortion’, but I’m quite certain there is some amount of related rituallistic ‘human sacrafice’ that occurs each Halloween.

listens2glenn on October 30, 2011 at 9:21 PM

My first child was due on Halloween, but waited until Thanksgiving to make his appearance. Missed dinner, but what a dessert! Truly a day of thanks giving!

GGMac on October 30, 2011 at 10:38 PM

Me too…I’ve seen one when I was a kid and have never forgotten it.

JetBoy on October 30, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Let me guess, it scared you gay?

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 10:58 PM

Let me guess, it scared you gay?

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 10:58 PM

.
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Actually, you should have just posted the JetBoy Registered Trademark varied for “the other sexuality”:
.
.
.

Gay people …

ExpressoBold on October 30, 2011 at 11:11 PM

At the risk of taking all the mystery out of Halloween, I’m not surprised by the 2/14 vs. 10/31 natal statistic. The month with the most babies born is March, by a significant margin above the mean. It stands to reason that February and April would also be higher than the mean. So pick any random date between February 1 and April 30, and you’ll have more births than any random date chosen between October 1 and November 30th.

Or maybe it’s the Zombies eating the October 31 babies. It’s hard to be sure.

Zumkopf on October 30, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Zumkopf on October 30, 2011 at 11:35 PM

April showers bring May deflowerings?

NotCoach on October 30, 2011 at 11:49 PM

Women are wack. They can even time their menstruation to each other.

John the Libertarian on October 30, 2011 at 11:55 PM

My son was born on October 30 (30 years ago), and I was very glad he wasn’t born the next day. Primarily because it was a holiday of sorts, but mostly because I didn’t want to be in labor another 12 hours. :)

Bob's Kid on October 31, 2011 at 1:21 AM

firefoxy on October 30, 2011 at 5:34 PM

I was due around Thanksgiving and was born on 10/21. My soon-to-be-adult Spawn was born on April 1.
Who says that G-d doesn’t have a sense of humor. LoL

annoyinglittletwerp on October 31, 2011 at 2:18 AM

Better than April Fool’s Day.

viking01 on October 30, 2011 at 7:53 PM

My son was born April 1, 1994.

annoyinglittletwerp on October 31, 2011 at 2:53 AM

Seems to me that whatever people see as “ghosts” are demons, not the spirits of dead people, because Jesus’ parable about Lazarus says in Luke 16:26, “Between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.”

Hey, if ghosts are spirits, why do they wear clothes? They’re cold, or modest? Is it because clothes have spirits, too?

KyMouse on October 31, 2011 at 6:42 AM

She said most of her patients can’t wait to schedule.

Even at 40 weeks, my doctor wouldn’t schedule an induction. I was 10 days overdue when my first son was born.

Let me tell you, even though he was born in early March, I didn’t care if the calendar said “SATAN’S BIRTHDAY” or “DEVIL SPAWNING DAY” on it…I wanted my son born ASAP. 3 months of crippling sciatic nerve pain will do that.

englishqueen01 on October 31, 2011 at 7:05 AM

My son was born on Oct. 28th. They had to do an unscheduled C-Section and would not take Oct 31st. Her office doesn’t even ask women any more.

Oil Can on October 31, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Did my tax dollars fund this crap? THAT is the scary part. Great God almighty, is there nothing so trivial that it avoid the academic’s notice?

Bigurn on October 31, 2011 at 10:50 AM