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US Women Planning Pregnancies for Spring Births

Research reveals a trend in how US women are planning their first pregnancy.

August 30, 2019

Spring is a beautiful time of the year—flowers are blooming, the weather is getting warmer, the leaves are growing back on trees. 

And, according to a recent study, a significant number of married US women would prefer to give birth in the spring

Continue reading to find out:

  • More details from the study
  • Explanations for the results

More About the Study: Here’s What Researchers Learned

A team of three researchers decided to investigate the determinants for the seasons in which babies are born, the focus being on married women ages 20 to 45 in the US.

Using birth certificates, census data, and a series of surveys, the researchers concluded that educated, married US women showed a pattern in wanting spring births for their first baby. 

A pregnant woman runs her hand through a field of wheat in the spring.
The study is titled “The Demand for Season of Birth” and was published in the Journal of Applied Economics

Through an anonymous survey platform, the researchers also analyzed the extent to which women would be willing to pay for their preferred season of birth. The average dollar amount was estimated to be $877 USD. 

The study showed several factors related to the probability of a spring birth:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Smoking status during pregnancy
  • Receiving WIC food benefits during pregnancy
  • Pre-pregnancy obesity 
  • Working in education, training, and library occupations

Conversely, unmarried women with no father listed on their child’s birth certificate did not have the same likelihood of a spring birth. Science Daily reports that the “same was true for those moms who had used Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) such as IVF, to conceive.” 

A mother, daughter, and granddaughter hold hands in the park on  sunny day.
The researchers noted a drop in conceptions for ART births during the month of December, which they hypothesized was due to fertility clinics being closed for the holiday season. 

Explanations for the Results: Why Do Women Want to Give Birth in the Spring?

Though spring is a pleasant time of the year, the researchers suspect women’s reasoning for wanting spring births is based in practicality rather than a personal bias toward warm weather. 

According to co-researcher Sonia Oreffic, who is an economics professor, women are favoring springtime to avoid flu season and the peak of germ-spreading, both of which fall in the autumn and winter. 

Additionally, she says women who work in schools, training sectors, and libraries are more likely to want a spring birth because they are “are trying to link their summer vacation to their short US maternity leave in order to spend more time with their baby." 

Pregnant math teacher writes notes in front of class.
The details of maternity leave depend on the company or institution you work for. If you don’t know your employer’s policy, you can visit Human Resources to learn more and ask any questions you might have. 

Did You Know?

Though the study found women preferring spring to give birth, summer is actually the most common birth season in the US. 

Stay updated on pregnancy and fertility studies with the eIVF Blog.

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