What time of day are you most likely to give birth?

A recent UK study has revealed the most common time for babies to arrive spontaneously is 4am... but what about other types of birth?


There’s a common perception that waters tend to break at night: but what’s the deal with when your baby will actually arrive?


Spontaneous births happen on average at 4am

A new study by University College London (UCL), University of London and National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has revealed that in the UK, just over half of spontaneous births happen at night – between 1am and 7am to be precise, with a peak at 4am.

And when we asked our mums on Facebook if this worked out for them – quite a few said yes, it definitely did. 

Isabel H had her at 3.38amand Michelle H had hers at 3.59am – so practically spot on the peak time ?

One evolutionary theory about why spontaneous births are more likely to happen in the middle of the night is that our ancestors were dispersed during the day and came together at night.

So, night time offered a sort of protection over the newborn which wasn’t there in the day.

Another theory is the ‘lunar effect’ – that a full moon brings on labour and birth.

Anecdotal evidence suggests it’s true, but a 1950s dedicated study on the subject found no correlation between birth rates and a full moon (though we quite like the idea of it ?)

Planned/elective C-section births tend to happen between 9am and midday on weekdays

If you’ve been booked in for a caesarean, the chances are it will be during fairly set morning working hours for doctors – weekdays before noon.

One of our Facebook mums, Laura G, had an elective C-section at 11.21am, Mairead D had a planned C-section at 11.55am and Hayley D had a planned c-section just after noon.


Induced births tend to happen around midnight on Tuesdays to Saturdays

Induction can lead to spontaneous births, operative births (using forceps or ventouse) or emergency C-sections, have their peak on Friday nights and are less likely to happen at weekends.

Amy B had her baby at 12.12 am after being induced, and Hayley B’s came at 3.51am on a Friday after being induced – matching the peak mentioned.

Emergency C-sections happen when they’re needed

Babies don’t always stick to deadlines or follow trends, though, do they? ?

And if you’re having a tricky birth which requires you to have a caesarean, it seems there are no ‘rules’ for timings.

Hayley D had an emergency c-section way beyond working hours at 3.33am, Camilla W had an emergency C-section at 12.34pm on a Bank Holiday Monday, and Sharon F had hers at 4.49am in the early hours of Saturday morning.

What time was your baby born?

For every labour that fits the trends and matches the studies we know there are plenty that don’t! So we’d love to know when your babies were born – tell us on Facebook or in the comments below.

Images: Getty

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