Pregnant women, another thing to stress about: the time of day (or, actually, night) can have serious impact on whether you’ll experience complications. In fact, the risk of death and admission to a neo-natal unit increased significantly for those babies who are born in the middle of the night.
A study of 700,000 births at all Dutch hospitals between 2000 and 2006 found an increased risk of death for babies born between midnight and 8 a.m. at any hospital no matter how big.
At smaller community hospitals, there was a 32 to 47 percent increase in the risk of death for babies born overnight or even in the evening, between 6 p.m. and midnight.
The findings aren’t all that surprising, say the researchers, and the results are in line with an already known increased risk of death for non-obstetric patients in intensive care.
The good news is, though there’s increased risk, the risk is still really, really small. What researchers want to know, however, is why there’s any difference at all and what role the hospital organization plays. There’s some evidence that the presence of senior staff and more experienced doctors lowers the risk of these serious complications and death. Others speculate that fatigue plays a role.