Should I focus on a birth season rather than a birth month?
Some women put a lot of thought into when they’ll have their baby. They might try to line up the dates so that their baby is a certain astrological sign, or they might even try for a specific birth date that is meaningful to them. Pregnancy is always unpredictable, so specific forecasts for birth usually don’t pan out the way they were meant to. Of course, it is possible to plan which month you’d like to have your baby during. You might want a baby born in the summer for more fun, outdoor birthday parties. Or maybe you’d like to make sure your baby is born in the winter so that he or she will get to celebrate during the school year with friends from class. However, the season during which you have your baby could actually have a more important role than birthday planning.
How can the seasons affect birthweight?
A recent study shows that seasonality can actually affect your child’s birth weight. Babies born in the spring months were more likely to have a higher birth weight than those born in the summer months. While you certainly don’t want your baby to be enormous, low birth weight usually indicates that your child did not complete his or her development in the womb.
The cause of these differences could be the temperature of the mother’s environment during the final months of pregnancy. Research shows that women should try to avoid exposing their belly to extreme heat when they’re in their third trimester, as it could affect the child’s development. Saunas and hot tubs are not recommended, and women should avoid them until they’ve given birth. The same might hold true for the hot summer months. Spending time in direct sunlight might cause a slowing in the development of the fetus, which would cause a lower than average birth weight. The spring months are usually the most temperate, so the fetus will not be exposed to drastic temperature changes between hot and cold, which will allow for a more consistent rate of development.
Of course, seasonal changes are not the only thing that might affect birth weight, so this study should not be taken as the final word. Millions of babies are born in the heat of the summer and they turn out perfectly normal. However, if you’re worried about the heat affecting your fetus before birth, try conceiving in the summer months.
Source: N Bahrami et al: Associations Between Seasonal Patterns and Birth Weight. Koomesh Volume 13 Issue 4 pp. 427-433 2012