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Full Moon and Labor

Full Moon and Labor

Throughout history, countless old wives' tales have developed surrounding the various details of childbirth; from tips and tricks to induce labor to techniques to make delivery easier and less painful, there are countless pieces of anecdotal evidence that suggest some outside, and often unrelated, factor plays a role in making the birthing process that much easier. One such element is the full moon. While society attributes a number of things to the full moon, this natural lunar phenomenon is believed to induce labor in pregnant women. The logic behind this argument seems to make sense at first glance: because the moon controls tides on Earth, it is not a stretch to imagine that the moon could have a slight pull on the amniotic fluid within the mother's body; as the pressure on the amniotic sac increases, the likelihood of going into labor increases, as well.

Unfortunately, there is simply no evidence to support this theory, despite some incredibly vocal support coming from midwives, doulas, and pregnant women themselves. A 1950s study found no connection between the number of births and the full moon; future studies also found no correlation between the two factors. In 2001, an enormous study was conducted, taking into consideration two decades of information surrounding 70 million births in the United States; even with so many opportunities for a correlation to make itself known, no such link was found.

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