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Would You Induce Labor to Control Your Child's Birthday?

Would you want to pick your due date?

A new story in Time magazine gives new meaning to the term “family planning.”

Some betrothed couples in England have come down with a royal headache ever since Prince William and his fiancée, Kate Middleton, announced they’d be wed on April 29, 2011, according to Time. Brides- and groom-to-be planning to wed on the same date are now faced with hotels booking at a faster rate than the same time last year, flights filling up, and normal wedding vendor services in higher demand (and possibly with more expensive price tags). Those who looked into moving their weddings to other dates were out of luck, having already spent thousands in nonrefundable deposits.

It’s not uncommon for people to plan for special life occasions according to the date. More people were likely wed on July 7th in 2007 than on that date in July any other year because it was perceived to be a lucky day. Country clubs and catering halls book up quickly for celebratory gatherings on Memorial Day and Labor Day. And media outlets always love to share tales of the first babies born in the New Year, with the stories often sounding there was a virtual minivan race to see which set of parents could make it to the delivery room before all the others.

But what do you do when you’ve got something planned on an unpopular date, particularly if it only fell out of favor after you past the point of no return? Or if you give birth and have to plan future birthday parties on a day that suddenly becomes historic or significantly more somber than that which you’re celebrating? That’s exactly what happened to my sister when she got pregnant with her second child.

Soon after she heard the good news, something not so great occurred to her. She asked her doctor about the pros and cons of being induced.

“Why don’t we worry about that in about 8 months?” he asked her.

The problem was she didn’t want to give birth on September 11, 2002, which was her due date.

While she went into labor on September 9th, the issue then became overcrowding in the maternity ward of the hospital, as other pregnant women had successfully convinced their doctors to induce them for their big events on a more uneventful date.

It’s become increasingly more common for women to schedule childbirth around work and other family commitments, coincide with the birthday or anniversary of a beloved family member, and even to avoid certain dates in history.

While the sting of tragic events generally fades over time, sometime the immediate significance is too hard to overcome in the present. How would you feel about giving birth on September 11th or a similarly infamous historical date?

Photo: iStock

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