Mothers aren’t just afraid of their kids having too much candy on Halloween, or the legendary razor blade in the apple routine. Seriously, why are apples always the evil fruit in fairy tales and urban legends? Pregnant women are able to avoid giving birth on Halloween, although specifically how that happens is unknown.
Rebecca Levy at the Yale School of Public Health looked over nearly 2 million US birth records from 1996 to 2006. Birth rates decreased by 11.3 percent on October 31st, in comparison to the 2 weeks on either side. Of course this is a statistical decline and could be the result of a great many things, and the birth rates also include induced labor and cesarean births. People would typically not choose to have a major procedure, especially childbirth, on a holiday. Thus adding to the dip in babies born on October 31.
There’s something to be said for the power of the human mind to perhaps adjust hormone balances to keep a child from being born on a day that is seen as a celebration of darkness and death. Mothers will often desire to give birth on a certain day of the week, and somehow it happens the way they want.
It’s difficult to say how much is behind this phenomenon, but human hormones are able to change and adjust with exceeding swiftness. When a moving automobile, no matter the speed, hits you you’ll experience an insanely large surge of adrenaline. This isn’t magic, and neither is the lower birth rates on Halloween. The chemicals and reactions in our bodies respond to what’s going on in the world, and a healthy dose of fear could certainly lead to a mother not giving birth on Halloween.
These findings indicate that natural childbirth may not be as spontaneous as we’ve thought. There’s some degree of control from the mother.