The stars might not affect one’s destiny, but researchers are increasingly putting forth the concept of month of birth impacting upon one’s life. According to a new paper, December might be the best time of the year to conceive while June is described as a “toxic month”. The findings, presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s annual meeting, will soon be published.
Following the analysis of more than 270,000 pregnancies, the researchers of the new study conclude that the month when conception happens has a great impact on birth rate. Accordingly, children conceived in December allegedly have a greater chance of being born healthy as the figures suggest that 3 extra babies survive per every 200 pregnancies.
“There are a lot of things we are finding that are seasonal and very disturbing,” one of the researchers, Paul Winchester from Indiana University, says in a statement to The Telegraph. “We have seen significant seasonal differences in reproduction. Valentine’s Day is one of the least likely times to conceive a baby, whereas Christmas seems a very positive time.”
Conversely, the worst time to conceive appears to be in the middle of the year – in June.
“June is a toxic month,” said Winchester to The Telegraph. “The June effect was something that we saw develop at a very early stage. White mothers have the lowest survival rates in June and significantly shorter pregnancies, with premature babies.”
The reasons for this trend hinted by the results generated through the study are not known. The researchers speculate that a link might be in terms of agriculture.
“It has been my suspicion that this is not accidental but may have some biological basis. Vitamin D levels and pesticides might be relevant factors,” said the researcher. “If you want to avoid a birth defect or a premature birth then it might be worth avoiding June. Other studies have shown that spina bifida incidence and sudden infant death peaks in June.”
Should we be worried, then? A researcher from Columbia University, Nicholas Tatonetti, says we should not get too nervous.
“It’s important not to get overly nervous about these results because even though we found significant associations the overall disease risk is not that great,” says Tatonetti, who also conducted a study related to the effect of birth months on health. “The risk related to birth month is relatively minor when compared to more influential variables like diet and exercise.”