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Childbirth and the full moon: between myth and reality

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Childbirth and the full moon: between myth and reality

The full moon is the source of many myths. One of them claims that there are more deliveries on full moon nights or that it would influence the end of the pregnancy. Are maternity wards overflowing on the nights of the full moon?

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For centuries, the moon has been the object of many beliefs. Werewolves, murders, accidents, suicides, mood changes, influence on hair growth and sleep. The moon, especially the full moon, has a whole host of effects and influences.

The moon is even a great symbol of fertility, no doubt because of the similarity of its cycle to the woman’s menstrual cycle. The lunar cycle lasts 29 days, whereas a woman’s menstrual cycle generally lasts 28 days. The lithotherapy followers advise the women having a project of pregnancy, reached of infertility or have irregular cycles, to carry a stone of moon (called thus by its resemblance with our satellite) around the neck.

Childbirth and the full moon: An effect of the lunar attraction?

The widespread belief that more deliveries during a full moon could be due to the moon’s attraction. After all, the moon influences the tides since the tides result from three interactions: the appeal of the moon, the sun, and the rotation of the earth.

If it influences the water in our seas and oceans, why wouldn’t the moon influence other fluids, like amniotic fluid? Some people believe that the full moon increases the risk of breaking water or giving birth on the night of a full moon rather than a few days before or after.

Childbirth and the full moon: No conclusive statistics

There is actually little data available on the full moon’s influence on the number of deliveries, probably because scientists have grown tired of finding any link between the two since there is no physiological reason for it.

The scientific press only reports a relatively recent solid study. On the one hand, a study was conducted by the Mountain Area Health Education Center in North Carolina (United States) in 2005 and published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Researchers analyzed nearly 600,000 births (564,039 to be precise) that took place over five years, a period equivalent to 62 lunar cycles. This provided serious statistics, allowing the researchers to affirm that the moon does not influence the number of births. Consequently, there are no more births on the full moon nights than during other lunar phases.

Full Moon Births: Why We Want to Believe

Even if there is no solid proof of any influence of the moon on pregnancy, fertility or even our lives in general, we still want to believe in it. This is probably because myths and legends are part of our common imagination, of our nature. Moreover, human beings are inclined to favor information that confirms their preconceived ideas or hypotheses; this is commonly known as confirmation bias. Thus, if we know more women who have given birth during the full moon than at another time of the lunar cycle, we will think that the moon influences Childbirth. Thus, a pregnant lady who holds this idea may unintentionally precipitate labor on the day of the full moon.


The moon and its effects on people, especially pregnant humans, are shrouded in mystery.

Your obstetrician or midwife may provide you with information on your health and your baby by measuring your dilation or doing a nonstress test.

Apart from that, it’s a waiting game – but don’t put your trust in the moon.

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