Timing is everything. And when it comes to baby-making, women in the US are thinking with the bigger picture in mind. In fact, they’re more likely to try to time their pregnancies so they have their first baby in the spring, according to new research from the University of Exeter Business School in the UK.
The probability of a baby being born during the springtime is significantly linked to the mother’s age, education, marital status and whether or not they’re smokers. After analyzing women, the study also found if it were possible, married women between the ages of 20 and 45 would be willing to pay $877 dollars to guarantee a spring birth.
"Our work has discovered that there really is a desire to give birth in the spring in the US," says Sonia Oreffice, a professor of economics. "This is often to do with the health of mom and baby because spring and summer are the furthest away from the peak of influenza cases and other germs.”
The researchers used data from US birth certificates, US Census data and a series of surveys with mothers. It specifically looked at the choices made around when to have a first baby, since there are usually a lot of different factors influencing parents' decision-making process when considering whether or not they’ll have more children.
Perhaps not all too surprising, women in certain occupations, such as teachers and library workers, were more likely to aim for a spring baby. "We believe this is because women are trying to link their summer vacation to their short US maternity leave in order to spend more time with their baby,” explains Oreffice.
Women who were not married and didn’t list another parent's name on their child’s birth certificate didn’t show any of the above patterns. The same held true for women who used fertility treatments, such as IVF, to conceive.