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Can a Woman Think Her Way Into When She Gives Birth?

By HERWriter Guide
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Labor & Delivery related image Photo: Getty Images

Mind over matter. We talk about it a lot. How we can will our way into or out of seemingly uncontrollable situations like when we die, or even when we give birth.

Many of us know of a grandparent who stayed alive until someone got married, someone graduated or a favorite grandchild gave birth. Within days, they die and people marvel at how they managed to stay on for that special day.

There is also what's known as Broken Heart Syndrome, where partners of many years die within weeks or months of each other. A recent news story revealed an elderly couple who actually died together, holding hands. It seems, at some level, we can actually control the uncontrollable.

A study of pregnant mothers who were due to give birth around popular holidays like Hallowe'en and Valentine's Day, showed that negative connotations toward the spookier day versus holidays filled with images of love, like when Cupid's arrow strikes in February may be a factor in when they give birth.

Yale School of Public Health studied the records of several million women and saw that there was over a five percent decrease in natural births at Hallowe'en (specifically, one week before and one week after) and a near 17 percent drop in terms of C-sections.

If these were scheduled, it's more understandable since having a birthday around Hallowe'en can be hard for kids and moms alike, as well as some mothers simply not liking the holiday. However, many C-sections are not scheduled and researchers believe that superstitions about Hallowe'en may play a part.

On the other side of things, the Yale researchers looked at the records of 1.7 million births around the favorable festivity called Valentine's Day and saw a 3.6 percent increase of natural births and a 12 percent increase in C-sections which led to a conclusion that women may, in fact, have some kind of mental control over nature and their bodies natural leanings.

Tell Us -- Did you experience something like this when you were about to give birth? Does the outcome of this study seem feasible to you?


The New York Times. Health. Really? The Claim: Holidays Can Affect When Expectant Mothers Deliver. Web. October 24, 2011. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/10/24/really-the-claim-holidays-can-affect-when-expectant-mothers-deliver/?ref=health

EmpowHER.com. Can You Really Die of a Broken Heart? Web. October 24, 2011. https://www.empowher.com/community/share/can-you-really-die-broken-heart

Reviewed October 25, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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