Can You Control When You Go Into Labor?

Unless you have a scheduled C-section or are induced, you have no say over when your new bundle makes its debut, right? Maybe not, suggests a new study at the Yale School of Public Health. After examining U.S. birth stats over an 11-year period, researchers found a 5.3% decrease in spontaneous births on Halloween and a 3.6% increase in spontaneous births on Valentine’s Day. The theory? Cultural connotations surrounding the holidays affect a woman’s desire to deliver and they’re able to will themselves to go—or not go—into labor if they’re due around those days. Now, before you read any further, it should be noted that I’m a person who believes in mind over matter. I’m convinced that I’ve successfully fended off a cold or the flu simply by repeating, “Now’s really not a good time for me.” Is this likely the reason I didn’t get sick? No. And even I’ll admit that I was skeptical when I heard about the study. But might I prefer to have my baby on a day associated with hearts and flowers or not have him on one characterized by witches and ghosts? Sure. And if you end up delivering or not delivering on those holidays, who does it hurt to believe you willed it to be so? In my experience of staving off sickness, it’s a bit of a confidence boost! So, in light of the fact that Halloween is on Monday, I’m willing to get swept up in the supernatural and say, “that’s some powerful thinking, expectant mamas! I’m impressed.”

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  1. by Nicole

    On October 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I completely agree that you can control when you go into labor. My husband worked out of town during my pregnancy and came home on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I was due on a Monday. I had no signs of labor, feeling great and ‘normal’. He came home Tuesday morning and I delivered our daughter that day. The whole pregnancy I thought about not being alone during delivery and knew that my body would wait until my husband could be there. It was perfect!

  2. by Lynda

    On October 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Well, I will put this to the test! I’m expecting our 4th girl on 11/11/11. Our first was born on her due date & second two were a week late. I’m beginning to show signs of labor starting today, but am not ready. Our 2nd daughter’s birthday is on Sunday and I think everyone should have their own birthday so I’m hoping to hold off. …Plus, wouldn’t 11/11/11 be such a cool birthday for our newest little one! :) Wish me luck!

  3. by Erica

    On October 28, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I totally agree, I was due July 4th in the beginning, I was later due July 20th then 24th. The whole entire pregnancy I knew July 4 was meant to be. I later was diagnosed with preeclampsia at 35 weeks, after stress tests and measurements routinely performed..the doctor scheduled me for an induced labor for July 4th, but get this, I had huge contractions and they asked me how long I had been having them..I didn’t realize they were so big, at 3:45am I went into labor on my own after being omitted to my scheduled delivery! My water broke on it’s own and I was ready to go…only problem was my girl got stuck for over 2 it resulted in a near emergency c-section. I was told if I didn’t sign the waver if be a code blue in 45 more minutes. Very emotional. Next time ill let nature take it’s course..well ill try and let my baby decide.