There are all kinds of un (or vaguely) proven ways in which natural phenomena affect when we go into labor. A The lunar cycle is said to make a difference though there’s no evidence I know of to confirm this. Women do tend to go into labor at night or during a heat wave. The former is because the labor hormone oxytocin likes the dark and the later is likely due to dehydration– a leading cause of premature labor.
But there’s also the notion that a severe drop in barometric pressure can induce labor. Hurricane Irene will produce just that drop all across the Eastern seaboard within the next 72+ hours.
In a related story from some years back about the lunar cycle, Amy MacDonald, director of Duke Midwifery Services, claimed that while, “there are lots of belief systems and cultures around the world linking the cycle of the moon and women’s fertility,” it’s not actually based in fact. She does believe, however, that women tend to go into labor more often when there’s a change in barometric pressure.
Anecdotal evidence from labor and delivery nurses seems to suggest that massive rain storms make for busier nights. My hunch is that Irene could push a woman into labor ONLY if she’s really ready to go in all other ways. We don’t entirely understand the mechanism that triggers labor but it’s complex and a few things need to happen for it to really kick in. From all I know I just can’t imagine it’s as simple as a change in the weather. The bigger concern would be access to care should you be in a remote area where there could be flooding/blocked roadways.
Read more about the Signs of an Early Labor