Today Is 11/11/11 – The Most Coveted Day To Give Birth

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Moms-to-be in South Korea are inundating hospitals with requests for a c-section delivery today – November 11, 2011 (also known as 11/11/11). All residents of Korea receive an identification number at birth – with the first six numbers corresponding to the date of birth – and so women are scrambling to get the number “111111” for their children, reports Reuters.

“There’s always people with due dates in January who want to deliver on the first of the month, but this seems unusual – trying to set delivery so they can have the ID number 111111,” said one maternity clinic staffer. In fact, the number of appointments for c-section births today is 20 percent higher this year than in previous years. Some expectant moms are going so far as to schedule a c-section one week early – before their actual due date – in an attempt to land this coveted birth date. (November 11 also marks Pepero Day, or Sweetest Day, in South Korea, which is similar to Valentine’s Day in North America.)

This all seems rather extreme to me and it reminds me of a piece we wrote in early September, when China reported a huge spike in elective c-sections as mothers rushed to give birth before the school enrollment deadline. In that instance, it was more a matter of giving their children a competitive edge than simply a cool ID number.

As an aside, friends of mine are celebrating their 11th anniversary today, on 11/11/11. Now that is cool!