Is it true that more babies are born when there's a full moon?

Is it true that more babies are born when there's a full moon?

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No, it isn't. Many maternity nurses and moms will swear that there's a surge in births during a full moon, but scientific studies disprove the notion. Statistics show there's no increase in births (or birth defects) during a full moon.

Studies in New York City in the 1950s showed a 1 percent increase in births in the two weeks after a full moon. The same research later found a 1 percent increase in the weeks before and after the full moon. And years later other researchers looked at births in the same area and found a 1 percent increase before the full moon.

Many other studies have since looked for links, with no convincing results. At least a half-dozen studies in the past decade found no connection between births and the full moon.

In the largest study, published in 2001, astronomer and physicist Daniel Caton examined 20 years of data from the National Center for Health Statistics — about 70 million U.S. births. He found no correlation between the full moon and deliveries. (At about the same time, French researchers looked at 14.5 million births in Europe and also discovered no patterns.)

These findings aren't likely to change the mind of people who are sure they see a burst of births during the full moon. But if you're playing the odds, don't count on delivering when the moon is full, unless it's your due date — and even then, the odds aren't all that great. (According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, only about 5 percent of babies are born on their due date.)

Hundreds of studies have also looked for a "Transylvania effect" — links between the phases of the moon and other phenomena (like suicides, calls to crisis centers, disasters, violent behavior, changes in mood) — and found no correlation there either.

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