giving birth

Babies Are Most Likely to Be Born at 4 a.m., According to Study

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Babies aren’t exactly convenient, are they? They get hungry at all hours of the night, cry just when you’ve drifted off to sleep, and really seem to get a kick out of blowing out their diaper in their car seat. It’s like they just want to keep us on our toes! And, as it turns out, maybe they come into the world that way. A new study says that babies born spontaneously are most likely to come at 4 a.m. I mean, could they plan this a little better?!

An analysis carried out by the University College London found that most babies born spontaneously (i.e., no interventions) are born at 4 in the goddamn morning.

too early cary grant GIF by Warner Archive

Image: Giphy

The study found that most planned c-sections take place at a respectable time on a weekday morning. But induced births were most likely to happen around midnight. And those babies that come into the world the good ol’ fashioned way? Well, apparently, those little babies are a bunch of early risers. Researchers analyzed five million births in the UK between 2005 and 2014. They found that 70% of spontaneous births happened outside of normal working hours. Most babies were born around 4 a.m., with the majority of births happening between 1 – 7 a.m.

As it turns out, there could be an evolutionary reason for this rude arrival. Seriously, 4 a.m. is so early.

Dr Peter Martin is a lecturer in applied statistics at University College London and was part of the research team. He says, “Our ancestors lived in groups that were active and dispersed during the day and came together to rest at night. So a night-time labour and birth probably afforded the mother and newborn baby some protection.”

Researchers hope that statistics like this can help hospitals and birthing centers recognize trends and staff their labor and delivery wards accordingly.

Obviously, parents aren’t bothered by the timing. Mom had probably been in labor for hours and had lost all sense of time by that point, anyway. But understanding when the majority of babies are born can insure that there is adequate staff on-hand to assist mamas and care for these new little ones.

(Image: iStock/kieferpix)