Pregnant Women Are Spooked by Halloween Birthdays, According to a New Study

Halloween may be a sugar-fueled high for ghosts and goblins young and old, but here's one group that isn't really excited about this holiday: Pregnant women. In fact, many expectant moms try to avoid giving birth on October 31, according to a new study from the Yale School of Public Health. For more than a decade there's been a 5.3 percent drop in "spontaneous" births (that kick off naturally) and a 16.9 percent decrease in cesarean births on the holiday, compared to other births one week before and one week.

It's not clear whether these moms-to-be are avoiding any creepy associations that can come with All Hallow's Eve, the inconvenience of a Halloween birthday eclipsed by other celebrations or whether they just want to avoid delivering their newborn down the hall from unruly revelers who had too a bit too much witches' brew.

In contrast, the study showed a spike on the love-and-flower-packed Valentine’s Day -- there was a 3.6 percent increase in spontaneous births and a 12.1 percent increase in cesarean births, according to the research.

"Our findings raise the possibility that pregnant women may be able to control the timing of spontaneous births," the authors of Influence of Valentine's Day and Halloween on Birth Timing wrote, "...and that scheduled births are also influenced by the cultural representations of the two holidays." No word yet about how moms are feeling about the rest of the calendar year!   

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