the full moon - labour/delivery. research.

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Hello everyone...

Most people have either heard or passed on something about a woman having a higher incidence of going into labour and delivery when a full moon passes. Indeed, at the time that I was 39 weeks pregnant (2 weeks before delivering my 2nd child), the hospital I was being cared by suffered a massive boom on the night of a full moon. When I say boom, I mean in a literal sense... suddenly, the maternity wing went from relative quiet to labouring women crawling out of the woodwork. It was so bad they had to set up temporary labour suits in the multi-purpose rooms... yes, that bad. This is not the only incidence I have become aware of and now that I am (finally) studying nursing, I am wondering if any of you can shed some light on experiences you have had with full moon's and whether they have impacted (dramatically or not) on labouring women? I have a research assignment to complete, not due until february, and I thought that getting some feedback from the nurses on the net forums (as well as midwives at major hospitals in my area) would give us some great ideas. I know that dramatic weather changes wreck havoc as well, so if you have any stories i might change my hypothosis to reflect the incidence of full-moons and weather... Please please please can you help as there is very little in the way of helpful internet sites. I've no doubt that someone has already started a thread on this topic, however i'm struggling to find anything that is of any real use, so now i'm begging...

Many thanks

Vanessa (student nurse) :eek:


167 Posts

The daughter of a nurse on our unit actually did a paper on this. Using our log book of deliveries and our admissions log she researched admissions and deliveries for our unit over 8 year. She plotted this against the times of the full moon, new moon and midway. She found a statistical increase for admissions and deliveries for the NEW moon!! Those of us old timers in L&D had a hard time believing her research, but the numbers were all there.


408 Posts

You might also want to look into the "x-mas effect" studies relating to the increase of births world wide during sept. and oct.:)

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

My maternal gramma believed that more girls were born during the full moon. She told me each time I was pregnant that I was having a girl due to the dates they were due. She was 100% correct as I gave birth three times...all to girls. :eek: Thanks Gramma. Would have been nice to skip the full moon and have a boy or two. :p

judy ann

225 Posts

Specializes in obstetrics(high risk antepartum, L/D,etc.

I believe, after ions of L/D experience, that, if the moon can affect oceans, why would it not affect something as small as a bag full of amniotic fluid? Also, a major drop in barometric pressue causes SROM thereby inducing labor.

Several years ago, I worked in Chicago when we had a huge storm. Many of the guys got stuck in the city for several days. About 8 1/2 months later, I started getting phone calls from the media asking if we had had a rise in the number of deliveries/patients due to deliver. We had a decided slump. No daddy-no baby!:chuckle


20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis.

I find the STORM effect to be absolutely a true thing. Living in OK when we had tornadic/severe storms around we saw more women come in with water broken, in labor, etc. I see this here in Washington State with the arrival of storm systems from the ocean. I find phase of moon to have little similar correlation. BUT none of this is scientific, as you know. Just my anecdotal experience!!

Specializes in Adolescent Psych, PICU.

I belive in it too.

I gave birth to my first daughter a week early the night of a full moon! When I showed up at the hospital the nurse just looked at my and said "here they all come" and she was right, they had women on beds in the hallways because they did not have room for them all...and she said it would last for a few days.

I mean the moon affects tidal volume, etc why not our bodies?

Marilyn (in Oklahoma as well SmilingBluEyes)


187 Posts

Specializes in insanity control.

The hospital L/D I worked had "phases" with the moon and major holidays. We could have no pts then everyone who was due within the week before and week after showed up on a full moon. We used to look at the moon and predict how busy we would be. It may seem like a joke, but every time there was a full moon, we were swamped.

The same with the holidays. We would be overwhelmed about 9 months after a holiday or a major event (9-11). It seemed like a joke when I started OB nursing. Now when one of the "old timers" says it will be busy cause of such and such, I believe her/him.

am in Oklahoma as well


274 Posts

Specializes in NICU- now learning OR!.

Don't know the actual facts on this phenomenon - but I experienced this firsthand with my son.

Little history...... I had toxemia... so bed rest, yadda yadda. By approx. 35 weeks my blood pressure was so crazy that I had my *first* induction...... nothing. Not one contraction. A little of what they called "an irritable uterus"

(sorry-I'm a nursing student- but haven't had my ob rotation yet!!)

Anyway.... about 2 more weeks of bed rest... finally my *second* induction. It was on a Wednesday, I believe.

Nothing. Yes, I contracted..... I was about 37 1/2 weeks with lots of braxton hicks normally. But still no baby, and still had a crazy BP.

There wasn't an appt time for my *third* induction - my Dr. wanted it in 2 days (Friday the 13th). So he scheduled it for that Monday morning.

Well..... Thursday evening at about 3am (so technically Friday the 13th) It was a full moon. I woke up to go to the bathroom, and my labor began on its own.

I had a 6 hr delivery from the first contraction to the birth (whew!) and the L&D ward was *packed*!!!!!!

There were people everywhere in that hospital! It didn't help that they had a full appt book for sched. procedures. I was moved to the Gyno wing because there wasn't enough room for all the incoming moms!! While they were moving me to my new room (everyone was sooo busy) a man came running out and grabbed the nurse who was helping me, uttered something, and they ran into the room - leaving me there - two hours after my delivery- in the hallway!

So my son was a Friday the 13th baby, born under a full moon - and *yes* he can act like it, too!! Whew!!

Sorry this was so long - but it was a crazy birth! The funniest part is- I really want to be a L&D nurse when I graduate!!! LOL!



36 Posts

We were talking about this the other night! Most of the nurses on my unit seem to agree that (at least in our area) storms and the barometric pressure have more effect then the moon. There are some nights when it is raining that I am like "there is not one pregnant woman left in this city because they are all here with their water broke". Also there are some MDs we tease becuase when they are on call all he** breaks loose and they get like 5 pts at once or have an emergency C/S, but their partners always seem to have a quiet night.


7 Posts

It's so funny that I am reading this at work after a hellish couple of days--I have had two things working against me here. It is a full moon tonight and a snow storm is coming tonight as well. We have been completely FULL and out of rooms and just had two SROMers walk in the door. I am soooo glad I am off tomorrow!!

I used to live/work in Houston and it seemed true that when a big storm would come, the labor bus would drop off a load of laboring women--seems like many of them would SROM/PROM and would have to be induced. Same deal here today-two SROM--no labor. Hmmmm???



4 Posts

Hi again,

well, (whew) after reading all that I can see that it seems to affect some people's wards and not others... but that's great so a huge thank-you to everyone who posted a reply.

I'm quite lucky because my midwife (well, the lady that help ME give birth) is gonna get me all the L & D details for the past 12 mths so I will try and match them up to the full/new moons.

I guess what comes out of this whole thing is that birth is a slightly mysterious, slightly crazy event in any womens life and anything can bring it on... but I will try to do the best possible job on this assignment. i still have the whole xmas vacation to sort it out.

take care xx


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