Pregnancy

Birth: there are no more seasons!


Although birth peaks have always existed, they have changed and moved over the centuries, influenced more by sociological and historical factors than by climatic parameters.

More births between January and April in the 17th century

  • Babies designed in the spring. The increase of designs from April has long been interpreted as an ode to nature.
  • Religious seasonal rather than climatic marriages and intercourse were banned during Lent and Advent. At the end of this period of abstinence, lovemaking and marriages were on the agenda, hence the peak births, 9 months later.
  • This seasonality is dwindling in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Mentalities change, we respect the religious precepts less.

More births in the spring in the years 1970-1980

  • Babies with paid leave : most French take their holidays in July and August. This period of reunion makes it possible to realize the desire for a child.
  • A child when I want ! Contraception promotes birth control. As much to link the useful with the pleasant: giving birth in the spring allows the women to cumulate maternity leave and summer holidays.

Today a single peak of childbirth in September

  • Since the 1970s, the birth peak moved from May to September.
  • Yet 27% of French women would prefer to give birth in May against 2% in September.l
  • Record births on September 23! Babies designed on New Year's Day. The night of New Year's Eve promotes the realization of the desire for a child, but also, festivities oblige, forgetfulness of contraceptive methods!

Frédérique Odasso

* INED study, the National Institute of Demographic Studies