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
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.