The Best Season to Get Pregnant

Researchers tease out link between time of conception and newborn health

It almost seems like a mystical correlation. Babies born at particular times of the year seem to be healthier than babies born at other times. Scientists have now demonstrated that the strange phenomenon is real, and they believe they may understand why it occurs.

According to economist Douglas Almond of Columbia University, who was not involved in the study, the work is “a really long-overdue analysis.” Although it may not be a smoking gun, the evidence is much stronger than before, he claims. “.

Researchers began to notice that children born in the winter were more likely to experience health issues later in life, including slower growth, mental illness, and even an early death. One of the suggested explanations was that the winter months, when those expectant mothers and near-term fetuses might be most vulnerable, are associated with illnesses, harsh temperatures, and higher pollution levels. But recently, the picture became more complex as economists examined demographics. Children with health and developmental issues are more likely to be born to mothers who are non-white, single, or lack a college education. Additionally, they are more likely to get pregnant in the first half of the year. It was difficult to separate the seasonal effects from the socioeconomic ones as a result.

Using information about births between 1994 and 2006 from the vital statistics offices in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, Princeton University economists Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt developed a novel strategy for answering this age-old query. Only siblings born to the same mother were examined in their study in order to account for socioeconomic status. They report that seasonal patterns still exist in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which is available online today.

May is the most unfavorable time to get pregnant, the study finds. Babies conceived this month (and thus delivered in winter) were 13% more likely to be born premature, and their gestation time was almost a week below the average, Currie and Schwandt report. Because low birth weight and prematurity have been linked to diverse health problems—weaker immune systems, poorer vision and hearing, and slower cognitive development—this variation could help explain differences later in life. The study found that for conceptions between January and May, gestation length declined by about a week before shooting back up to average length in June.

The ideal time to get pregnant, in terms of birth weight, was in the summer. The researchers discovered that pregnant women who had their babies from June through August gained more weight and had babies who were on average 8 grams heavier than those who had their babies from other months.

The annual decrease in gestation length closely correlates with the period when the majority of patients visited doctors with flu-like symptoms, the researchers discovered after consulting data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The decline in gestation time also arrived earlier and was more pronounced in 2009, when the H1N1 pandemic began about 2 months earlier than a typical flu season. According to Currie and Schwandt, the flu may cause mothers to deliver babies early. According to Currie, “I think it really supports the notion that pregnant women should receive the flu shot.”

According to Hyagriv Simhan, a maternal and fetal physician at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania who was not involved in the study, a few days’ difference in gestation is a small but significant difference. Despite the fact that infants born less than a month prematurely typically don’t incur significant medical expenses, he claims that the difference is significant when averaged across a sizable population. Flu is a likely factor in newborn health, but it is not the only one, according to Simhan, whose own research has suggested a link between influenza and early delivery. He cites as an illustration how vitamin D levels that drop at critical stages of fetal development may also be significant.

Kelly Servick is a staff writer at Science.

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Congratulations on getting to drink at holiday parties and wearing likely some pretty adorable attire in January and February. This winter, you won’t be enormous, so you can continue to wear the same coat and all of your winter clothing. As an added bonus, your baby will be born in the fall, which is the ideal time to go for a stroll before it gets too cold, and by the time your feet get really swollen, it will be flip-flop season.

You will have to come up with justifications for not drinking for the majority of the summer, though. Furthermore, you’ll need a new winter coat, an extension for your current one, or a new coat that has an extension. For when your feet get really swollen, maybe new boots are also in order.

When you have a baby in July or August, the buds will be blooming, spring will be in the air, and everything will feel amazing, new, and beautiful. It’s amazing that I had two of my three children in the early spring.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you may be wondering when is the best time of year to experience morning sickness, swollen feet, an extra 40 pounds of baby weight, and a newborn. Well, worry no more! We’ve figured it all out for you.

September and October are prime months for outdoor dining and recreation. Your pregnancy seems to have come at the perfect time because your little one will be most mobile next summer.

While September is the most popular month for American couples to start trying to get pregnant, many dont actually conceive until late autumn. If youre trying for a baby this fall, your chances of success are highest in late November and early December. According to a study by public health researchers at Boston University, those few weeks – particularly the week of November 25 to December 2 – are the most fertile time of year for women in the United States and Canada.

What is the best time to get pregnant?

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