THE BABY CALENDAR
These are the most and least common dates for women to give birth
JULY is the most common month of the year for women to give birth, new figures have revealed.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows that of the 696,271 babies born in 2016 (the most recent year), some 61,300 were delivered in July.
In fact, 15 of the past 21 years have seen more babies been delivered in July than any other month. September was the most common month in four years, and in two it was August. February, meanwhile, has remained the least common month of the year to give birth in every one of the last 21 years. That is at least partly due to the fact that the month is only 28 days long (apart from in leap years).
In 2016 the most common day to give birth was September 22 (2,202), closely followed by September 23 (2,200).
In comparison, luckily for midwives, Boxing Day and Christmas Day saw the fewest births in 2016 at 1,360 and 1,391 respectively.
In fact, Boxing Day has seen the fewest babies born in 17 of the past 21 years.
While families can try to plan conceiving a child so that it is delivered in a particular month, it is highly unlikely that they would be able to deliberately avoid a date.
However, the NHS does not induce women on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
Another possible explanation for the consistently few babies born on Boxing Day is because of women who have caesarean births, which the NHS estimates account for one in every four to five births in the UK. When the procedure is elective that is, planned for and not an emergency - women are able to request a date for the operation to take place. Overall, the number of babies born in the UK is falling. ONS figures for 2017 reveal that just 679,106 babies were born in the year - the fewest on record since 2006.
It was highest in 2012, when 729,674 children were born.
The NHS advises that midwives do not induce women on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day
February likely sees the fewest babies born because it is the shortest month