Why Are More Babies Born at Night?
Is it more common for babies to be born at night under the light of the moon? It sure is!
Every now and then a babe decides to make their entrance into the world in the light of day, but this is not the norm.
In a 2018 UK study that took place between 2005-2014 researchers discovered that 71.5 percent of spontaneous births occurred during the evening or early morning hours with the majority of those being between the hours of midnight and 6 am. But is there a reason why?
Actually, birthing at night may have been safer for our ancestors! There was less fear of being hunted by predators under the stars of the night. Communities were also gathered together after sunset which added more protection and assistance to those giving birth.
But, hormones play a huge role in why labor happens at night. Towards the end of pregnancy, melatonin levels rise (hard to believe when sleeping toward the end of pregnancy seems all too hard) and that blissful hormone which helps us sleep, also helps to get labor started. More receptors are developed by the uterus making the uterine muscle more sensitive to that extra melatonin being produced.
But, isn't it oxytocin that makes labor happen? Yes, the uterus contracts when oxytocin is present to bring the baby out, and melatonin seems to play a vital role by increasing the effect of oxytocin on the uterus, which in turn, makes contractions stronger.
It may be helpful to know that an action so simple as dimming the lights in the birth room can help labor naturally progress. While all this fascinating info doesn't quite take away the pain of routinely losing sleep for birth workers, it's comforting to know that our bodies work in such amazing ways to bring new life into this world.
I'd love to get a poll going. Did you give birth under the darkness of the night sky or during the day?