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Study: Cesarean Births Drop Around Halloween

October 28, 2011

DES MOINES, Iowa - Yale University researchers have looked into whether there are increases or decreases in cesarean section births on holidays. They found a 12 percent increase in "c-section" births on Valentine's Day and a nearly 17 percent drop on Halloween.

The researchers say it's no coincidence. The conclusion is that some women are manipulating the date of their child's birth, either to coincide with a holiday or avoid one. Tisha Johnson with the Iowa chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network says that is no reason to have a c-section.

"There are risks that come with every kind of birth – and so, to me, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense to, for that reason, take on the extra risk that cesarean incurs."

Those risks include infection, blood loss and risks to the baby, including the need for time in a neonatal intensive care unit. Johnson believes healthcare providers shouldn't go along with a request for a cesarean if there is no medical need for it.

"I'm more concerned about providers who would use that reason to justify a c-section."

The report looked at the results of 1.7 million births from two-week periods in February and October of 2006 to explore factors that affect delivery times. The findings are in the October issue of the journal Social Science and Medicine.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA