More births at full moon?

It is often said that more children are born at full moon. Meanwhile, many different studies have shown this not to be the case.

An American study from the years 1997–2001, can probably be referred to as a very popular example that investigated the influence of the moon cycle on births. The study was conducted with an impressive amount of 564,039 births and took place over a period of 62 moon cycles. Not only full moon, but also all other phases of the moon cycle were observed with the result that there is no verifiable correlation:

»An analysis of 5 years of data demonstrated no predictable influence of the lunar cycle on deliveries or complications. As expected, this pervasive myth is not evidence based.«

Arliss JM, Kaplan EN, Galvin SL.
At J Obstet Gynecol. 2005 May; 192(5):1462-4
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

Surely, there are countless examples where moon cycles, in particular full moon, plays an important part in different cultures of the world and it goes without saying, that these also were seen in context to births. Certainly, the length of the moon cycle, with approx. 29,5 days (about as long as the female cycle) and the moon’s symbolism of the feminine principle, contributes as well to the stabilisation of this belief and is still present.

But even if this appears to be the case for many people (especially the ones whose children were born at full moon and possible experienced an overcrowded maternity ward), it seems to be clear that the assumption of »more births at full moon« belongs in the the realms of legend and is indeed one of these so called popular fallacies.

Even the fact, that many people believe in a connection between full moon and births, does not result evidently in a measurable effect, in the sense of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because this too, would have consequently had to be reflected in the study named above.

Taking this one step further, you could ask the critical question, if there is an increase of Caesarean sections at full moon, because the belief in the connection of birth and full moon could influence the actual Caesarean operation? However, since full moon is considerably less important than the medical aspect of birth, the answer would probably be negative.

Full moon accompanies us. But what his/her immediate effect is in our lives, appears to be significantly less than we humans often would like to think.

Column: Worth reading | 7 comments | Leave a comment
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Comments

  • I was wondering if there are statistics that show if there is more of a certain gender born during the full moons.

    • That would be quite interesting! We don’t know any statistics about that.

  • Can you provide more information on this? cheers

  • It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  • So if there is no evidence of a full moon effect on births, what about the opposite a full moon effect on deaths. It’s often said that lunatic behaviour is more common around the full moon and a funeral director I met talked about 3 to 4 days before full moon an increase in calls. Suicides, erratic behaviour, arguments and general hi jinks seem to happen more around the full moon. Or is that just nonsense? Any evidence?

    • This is also one of the topics we would like to investigate a little more. If there are any facts and figures about that, let’s have it!

  • I’ve been looking all over for a contact page so I could tell you how much I love this wonderful site of yours! And then I found the blog! So, this is totally ausgezeichnet!

    And so my comment won’t be totally off topic, i’m going to use your calendar to find out when my three sons were born, one of whom was born in your neck of the woods — in Wien, 30 years ago.

    Tschuess!

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