Monday, April 21, 2008

Full moon and babies

There is some old wive's tale about full moons bringing out babies. I have heard people claim that the full moon brings more babies and that hospitals staff more people on full moons. Is it true? I don't know, but I found this article on it which had some interesting information:

Contractions known as "Braxton Hicks" -- sometimes noticeable to the mother and sometimes not -- become more pronounced and many travel to the maternity unit in the belief that "it's time". Disappointed -- or perhaps relieved -- they return home, the pains having subsided and with no dilation of the cervix.

While these expectant mothers visiting the clinic with their mistaken signs of labor are part of the reason why extra staff are needed, the major difference is found in the number of women whose amniotic sac -- the water -- breaks.

Just as some women experience false labor pains, in cases where the water breaking marks the start of childbirth, full moon is the time when it's most likely to happen.

In order to discover for myself whether this could be true, I asked several female friends how their births had started. Those who responded with "the water breaking" were then asked the date of the birth. On checking this against a moon phase chart, I discovered that almost all had given birth on, or very close to, a full moon.

Well, last night was a full moon, 1 week before Heather is due. And, needless to say since I am writing this, there is no baby. But notice how the last part of that says "very close to" a full moon. I guess anytime this week would count towards that statistic. The theory is that when pregnancy starts with water breaking, this is caused by a full moon much in the way the full moon affects the tides. If there is anything really to this, I guess Heather has a better chance of her water breaking which starts labor because of the moon.

For background, Heather is due on April 28th although I believe that it started as the 27th. Anna was 5 days early and came out at 8 lbs 2 oz. This next little girl is much smaller, so if the size of the baby helps bring along birth, then that may affect things.

This week is a week of a couple important dates for us. Heather's 28th birthday is on Tuesday. My mom's (Oma to Anna and my niece Tori) birthday is on Thursday...which happens to be exactly 6 months away from Anna's birthday. So our little girl may be sharing her birthday with one of the other important women in my life. Of course, she could also be born late and in May...also pretty crazy to think since we have been expecting her early due to Anna being early!

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