As Midwives we know that September is always a crazily busy time of year for us and anyone taking annual leave during that time is viewed with envy. Our already stretched services struggle even more to cope with the sheer volume of women giving birth between mid-September and the first week of October.
This all stems from lots of baby making activity over the festive period starting around 23rd December through until early January. Whether it be a pre-planned romantic candle lit liaison or a bit of drunken hanky panky after a Christmas party, more babies are conceived over Christmas & New Year than at any other time.
In the past we’ve been led to believe there’s one magical “National Conception Day” on the 2nd January in order to make September 26th the busiest day for giving birth, but Midwifery knowledge poo poos this notion!
For a start babies are not necessarily conceived on the day that you have sex, as sperm can live for up to 7 days in the fallopian tubes whilst waiting for the egg to arrive. So if you ovulate up to a week after your last “session”, the sperm could well be lying in wait ready to pounce on your egg!
And when it comes to giving birth, babies are not like cakes going into an oven with a timer set for 40 weeks & then “ping!” & they are done and we go into labour!! (If only that were the case!!)
In reality only 4-5% of babies are actually born on their due date, with 2/3 actually being born within 10 days of the date.
So what makes us more inclined to make babies at this time of year? It could be we’re more relaxed, have more time together, feel closer to our partner due to the festive spirit or it could also be the abundance of alcohol or for the shrewd planners out there – the desire for your child to be the oldest in their school year!!
So if you’re planning to partake in this years “Baby Making Season” here’s some tips:
- Figure out when you ovulate – you are only fertile up to 5 days before ovulation and the day you ovulate.
- Avoid using any form of vaginal lubrication if possible as it can slow down the sperms journey.
- Let gravity help – avoid having sex standing up and don’t leap out of bed straight afterwards! Instead opt for laying with your pelvis tilted upwards for 20mins just to help the sperm on their way.
- Stay relaxed – research shows being stressed can reduce the chance of getting pregnant.
So just remember if you’re planning an extra special “Christmas gift”, then you could well be in for a hectic time in September when your little one arrives -don’t say we didn’t warn you!