Is there any truth to that old wives’ tale that women are more likely to give birth when moon is full? Doctors at a Sacramento, California, hospital might be inclined to give credence to this bit of folk wisdom after a recent full moon saw them delivering a record breaking 45 babies in just 48 hours. “Non-stop babies, all weekend long … I think everyone is exhausted,” Dr. Matthew Guile of Sutter Memorial Hospital, tells KTXL-TV in Sacramento.
Dr. Guile is one of many seasoned OBs who truly thinks the “full moon effect” is real. “I think if you talk to anybody on the front lines of the hospital, emergency room doctors, labor and delivery, etc., it’s always like that on the full moon, everyone for some reason is really busy,” he says (via UPI).
While most doctors and midwives aren’t sure why the number of births seem to surge under a full moon, they have lots of theories. After all, menstruation and ovulation more or less follow a 28-day lunar cycle, so why can’t childbirth be somehow part of this cycle, too?
And there is one theory that has a lot support—and seems to make sense to us! According to Discovery Health, the lunar effect on births is based off the fact that the moon’s gravitational pull causes high tides. Since the human body is made up of 80 percent water, the increased pull during a full moon is believed to somehow jump start the childbirth process.
Checking to see if your due date falls anywhere near a full moon? Other scientists (who want to ruin the party on this one, it seems) point to several studies that point to any kind of lunar effect on birth as just plain loony.
According to a Huffington Post piece on this most recent rash of full moon births, back in 2005, researchers from Mountain Area Health Education Center in North Carolina analyzed almost 600,000 births across 62 lunar cycles. The data were retrieved from birth certificates from 1997 to 2001. The result? No significant differences in the frequency of births across the eight stages of the moon.
Do us a favor, will you? When you feel those first rumblings of labor, take a peek outside at the moon. We would like to believe this one!