Oct 16, 2011  •  In Aerin, Baby, Claire, Geek, Personal, Science

Defying the Halloween Birthday

How much does psychology come into play when it comes to the day a woman gives birth?

As it turns out, more than what you might expect.

Using 11-years’ worth of U.S. birth certificate data provided by the National Center for Health Statistics, Yale researchers have found that there are higher instances of birth on Valentine’s Day, a holiday traditionally linked with positive symbolism, while Halloween — a holiday which traditionally conveys negative symbolism — has lowered birth rates.

Take a look at the following graphs, provided by Try Nerdy:

 

 

 

While the overall increased likelihood of giving birth on Valentine’s Day jumps by 5%, a whopping 11.3% decrease in births was seen on Halloween across these years!

Although I know quite a few women who say that they would love to have a Halloween baby, I personally am keeping my fingers crossed that BebeDeux (whose due date is November 3) will not be born on this holiday — not due to the negative connotations, but because I prefer not to have my child share her birthday with a major holiday.

I have stated over and over again that I’m hoping for a November 1 birthday so that her birthdate will be binary: 11-1-11! (J wants her to stay in there longer because he wants a 11-11-11 birthday, born at 11:11:11!)

I also have another ulterior motive for wanting a November birthday: my mother’s birthday is October 27, and my sister’s is October 28. Additionally, my cousin’s twins were born on Halloween (contrary to the data above)…and I would prefer that BebeDeux does not share a birthday with another member of the family, or even a birthday month with four family members. That being said, I admit that an October 29 birthday wouldn’t be too bad, as my mother, my sister, and my second daughter would have birthdays right next to each other’s.

I know that there are a million circumstances beyond my control, but if the hormonal mechanisms responsible for determining birth timing are affected by psychological factors as the study suggests, I believe that my chances of my getting a preferred birthday for BebeDeux are better than I thought!

Besides, I can remember just last year, wishing and hoping for a September birthday for Claire (her due date was October 3)…and she was born 4 days early, on the last day of September. :-)

If you have children, would you say any psychological factors affected their birthdays?

12 Responses to “Defying the Halloween Birthday”

  1. Natalie M.:

    I don’t have a holiday birthday, but mine is the Oct. 30, my sister, cousin, and uncle are the 28th, and another cousin is the 26th. I’ve never ONCE in 23 years had a birthday cake with my name on it — they always said just “Happy Birthday!” because we shared them with the whole family. When I graduated from high school, the thing I was most excited about was that I could have a cake that had my own name on it!

    I just ask, on behalf of your new baby, that you make sure she understands that even if she has to share her birthday/birthday week, that her day alone is special–no one ever did that for me and I think that may be the reason I dread my birthday to this day.

    May these last few weeks be entirely special and peaceful, and congratulations on your new baby!

    Natalie

    • That’s exactly what we’re hoping to avoid. :-) My sister didn’t have this problem growing up, because we used to celebrate my mother’s lunar birthday (and only began to celebrate her western birthday in recent years). BUT I do have friends whose situations were similar to yours, and I always felt bad for them.

  2. Vanessa:

    My birthday is the day before my mother’s, and I’m pregnant now with a due date of the day AFTER my mother’s.

    A small part of me wants baby to come far enough away from my birthday so that it doesn’t feel awkward to be celebrating two birthdays so close to each other, but on the other hand, having baby come close to my birthday would give me a chance to make up for how I felt as a kid. When there was a birthday cake, it was always presented to my mom, and not to me. And like Nataie, it never had my name on it.

    My kid will always have their own birthday cake, because I know just how much it sucks to have to share one!

  3. Emma:

    I’m Feb 3rd, Mom is Feb 4th, brother is Feb 15th and Dad is Feb 23rd. Talk about a crazy month! And we always did four separate cakes, four separate celebrations, and everyone had their birthday cards on display for one week. We all got our own special moment in the spotlight!

  4. MrsW:

    Oh heck no. Unless I was somehow psychologically unready for her to be born which is why she was induced at 42 weeks. Although now thinking about it, her birthday ending up being exactly between mine and my husbands (his is 11/10, hers is 12/11, mine is 1/12) and the day before our wedding anniversary, which I thought was kind of fun.

    And don’t write off the Halloween birthday — I’ve had three very dear friends who have Halloween birthdays and they’ve never seemed to mind. They are all really sweet, great people too!

  5. Noelle’s due date was 1/15/11… so I was hoping she would have a 1/11/11 bday… but instead she chose to come on 1/6/11. Oh well! I’m glad she was born right after all those holidays – xmas, new years…. and there isn’t much going on in january.

  6. yeah, i think so! i really wanted to finish my taxes before baby was born (4 months before they were due- i’m an anti-procrastinator!) and she was born the day after i finished.

  7. Lisa:

    My birthday is Oct. 29. :)

  8. I *AM* a Halloween baby! The only real downside to this was that it was very difficult to get my friends to come over on my birthday as they always seemed to be trick o treating with their families. Even now, I find that my birthday party has to compete with Halloween parties every year which can be disappointing.

  9. Well, my Niece turns 5 on Halloween and she L.O.V.E’s her bday. Dressing up and tons of candy on your bday- not really a bad gig.

    As for my baby- she’s due on my Mom’s bday- 12/16- and she’s going to be pretty upset if this baby doesn’t come on her bday. My nephew’s bday is on the 18th of December– and my best friends is on the 20th- everyone seems to be rooting to share their bdays with this little lady.

    I will say that I really really don’t want a xmas, xmas eve, or post xmas baby. I think that wouldn’t be so great.

  10. my best friend was due four days before her birthday, and she was hoping she’d go into labor early, as she wanted as many days as possible between her daughter’s and hers. then she had to be induced, 36 hours before her birthday. her doctor was convinced it’d take 36 hours – but nope! her daughter and her are a day apart. so maybe it’s true? she did deliver much sooner than her doctor thought (only 12 hours from start to finish) but she delivered much later than she wanted.

    my brothers are technically two days apart, feb 27 and 29. but since the 29th is leap day, they’re usually only a day apart. we always had two cakes, and two parties, etc. and another brother is dec 14 – never any combination presents for him, he always got a birthday present and a christmas present. my parents were really good about making sure we all got our own days!

  11. Octally:

    As a Halloween baby, I feel it is my duty to say that I absolutely love sharing my birthday with this holiday! I have honestly never felt bad about it, and often find myself bragging about it. I never got tired of having costume parties for my birthday, and I’ve been able to dress up as some pretty funny things too, like a birthday gift, and since I’ve been in college, my birthday suit (a nude leotard, tights, and a birthday sash). I turn 21 this year so I’m looking forward to a really good time! I love it because it’s like everyone is celebrating with you, and everyone is ready for a good time!

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