Friday, October 12, 2012

Fun Birth Facts

I will warn you in advance; this is a little bit of an off-the-wall post.  Given that I'm a scientist, I'm naturally fascinated by the sorts of statistics that I'm about to give.  As a hopefully soon to be, but not quite yet pregnant post-doc mommy, it helps me pass the time.  So here goes.

Did you know that more babies are born in September than in any other month of the year?  For those that can do the math, that coincides with conception around the holidays.  I'm not one for having a baby with an autumn birthday (my own personal reasons), but it isn't as though I'd send the kid back if they came out in September.  My own children were born in July and March, and I can honestly say I was the least amount of miserable with the March baby.

Did you know that more babies are born on Tuesday?  And fewer babies pop out on the weekends?  I, personally, was born on a Monday.  My oldest was a Wednesday, and youngest on a Friday, so no weekend babies there.  I suppose I have no preference there.

The average age of first time moms (according to BabyCenter) in 2008 was 25.  I must have missed that memo, or I'm above average, as I was 31 when I had my first, 33 when I had my second, and will likely be 36 when I have my 3rd (and I only get older from there).

Mean gestational age for singleton births is 38.7 weeks (got this one from the CDC).  Both mine were born before that (does that make me above or below average?)

Now this is sort of interesting information...(once again, from BabyCenter, edited a little).

67% of first-time mom's worked during their pregnancy
80% of first-time mom's who worked during the last month of pregnancy
55% of moms who were working six months after giving birth

I have to say, I fit into all of those categories.  I was working, definitely in my last month of pregnancy and went back to work at 6 weeks post-partum.  With my oldest, I had a doctor's note to be off of work at 36 weeks (which one of my employers ignored, yet another story), and he popped out at 38w4d.  I showed up to work in labor with my 2nd one (so, while I technically didn't work the day he was born, I had him less than 16 hours after leaving work).

As for being off of work in the last month of pregnancy...can we say "yeah right???".  In my last two months of pregnancy, people would ask if I was going to take time off before the baby came.  As things got closer, more people at work wondered why I wasn't already off work (remember, I'm the dilation queen!).  My answers ranged from "I can't, don't have the time to take off", to "What would I do with time off...sit around the house and twiddle my thumbs?".  I even convinced myself that I had a lot to do before leaving, so I really couldn't just up and take off of work.  It made me hugely nervous when I was checked at 3cm at 34 weeks.

Anyway, enough of a stroll down memory lane, and applying my life to the statistics.  I know statistics are no indication of the future, but at the rate I'm going, I should plan on working, plan on working in the last month of pregnancy, and returning to work (definitely!) six months after giving birth.  And, don't forget, having a kid before the timer hits 40 weeks!

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