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Why are more babies born in August than any other month?

summer pregnantIf you’re due this summer, you’re far from alone: August is the peak month for babies to be born in the US. From 1990 to 2006, August topped the charts for 10 out of 16 years, and July captured the other 6 months. The explanation seems pretty simple on the face of it: more babies seem to be conceived in this part of the world when it starts getting a little chilly outside and folks start spending more time indoors. As Jeanne Faulkner, R.N. writes at Fit Pregnancy:

“When the world outside is sad, cold, hostile, stressful or chaotic, people respond with heat and tenderness at home.  When it’s time to party, to rejoice in the changing of the season and celebrate family and friends, we let the good times roll all the way into the bedroom. That’s how babies get started with tears and laughter, tragedy and celebration, cold weather and warm, rosy glows.”

However, these patterns differ a bit from state to state and latitude to latitude, and there are tons of other confounding factors that change birth rates by season: for instance, fertility varies over the course of the year, and use of birth control varies over the course of the year, too.  People  who are trying to conceive will also try to time their pregnancy right to avoid, say, being 9 months pregnant in January when there’s  ice on the ground and you’re feeling unwieldy, your winter coat won’t close around you anymore, and you might have to drive to the hospital in a blizzard. (A study from the University of Notre Dame associated winter births with unplanned pregnancies, and with a disproportionate number of teenage and unmarried mothers!)

Being super-preggo during the summer has its pitfalls as well – for instance, higher blood volume already heats up your body temperature – but it has some great advantages, too. It’s easier to get outside and exercise, the healthiest foods are in season, and you don’t need to invest in as many layers of maternity clothing. Plus, it’s important to get outside and exercise with your new baby, and in less outdoors-friendly seasons, you can wind up feeling isolated and cooped up. In summer, you can load your baby into your stylish new stroller and get rolling right away!

Are you expecting in the coming month? Or, do you have a preferred month to give birth? Check out these tips for late pregnancy and baby care in late summer, and let us know if you’ve got any more tips to share in the comments below!

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