THE BABY CAL­EN­DAR

These are the most and least com­mon dates for women to give birth

South Wales Echo - - News - By ALICE CACHIA

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

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