Pregnancy planning and seasonal variation in birth rate
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Introduction. There are seasonal variations in birth rates worldwide. In Norway, there has been a shift in birth seasonality, from a spring birth peak to a summer peak. Since 2010, the number of summer deliveries has increased by 28 %. It’s been speculated that the summer peak is associated with the introduction of the kindergarten act in 2009. The aim of the study was to assess the planning of pregnancy, seasonal variation and whether planned pregnancies are associated with the kindergarten act. Material and methods. Pregnant women with birth term June-August and December-January 2016 (n = 746) answered a questionnaire at routine ultrasound scan in week 17-19 or at the maternity ward. Data were analyzed with Mann-Whitney U-and Pearson’s chi-squared tests. Results. A planned pregnancy was reported by 80 % of the women. Economy, education and job was the most frequently reported reasons for planning, regardless of summer or winter due dates. Comparing winter and summer births, the only significant difference in planning was kindergarten admissions and convenient season. Kindergarten admissions was the second most frequently reported reason among women with summer terms; 36 % compared to 8 % of winter terms. Conclusions. The vast majority of pregnancies were planned and education, economy and job are the most important reasons in planning, regardless of season. An association between kindergarten admissions and planned pregnancies with summer due dates was found.