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Author (up) Matsumoto, S.-I.; Shirahashi, K. url  doi
openurl 
  Title Novel perspectives on the influence of the lunar cycle on the timing of full-term human births Type Journal Article
  Year 2020 Publication Chronobiology International Abbreviated Journal Chronobiol Int  
  Volume in press Issue Pages  
  Keywords Moonlight; Human birth; full moon; lunar cycle; new moon  
  Abstract It is claimed by some that the number of births occurring at the time of the full moon is greater than other phases of the lunar cycle; however, many publications fail to substantiate the claim leading to the conclusion it is myth. We tested using a novel approach the null hypotheses: (i) human birth is not lunar cycle-dependent and (ii) the number of births occurring at or around the time of the full moon is not different from the number occurring at the time of the other phases of the lunar cycle. We reviewed the birth records from 1 January 1996 to 16 March 2007 of the obstetric department of our hospital, which was then located in a relatively undeveloped area of Fukutsu city in Fukuoka Prefecture of southern Japan. A total of 1507 births satisfied all inclusion criteria, among others, being full-term and following spontaneously initiated labor. When the birth data were analyzed as done by other investigators, i.e. total number of births per lunar day, lunar phase was not found to be influential. However, more detailed analyses on the subset of babies born specifically during the nighttime hours (N = 362) revealed the number of births varied in relation specifically to the changing amount of moonlight during the nighttime at different stages of the lunar cycle, with highest number of births at or around the time of the full moon. In contrast, analyses on the subset of babies born specifically during the daytime hours (N = 377) revealed the number of births varied in relation specifically to the changing amount moonlight during the daytime at different stages of the lunar cycle, with the highest number of births at or around the time of the new moon. The initiation and culmination of human birth are typically a nocturnal process. The findings of this investigation are consistent with the hypothesis natural nighttime parturition is influenced by lunar phase, particularly the full moon, and, thus, they are consistent with the belief the moon exerts an affect upon the timing of human birth. We speculate the long-hold belief of the association between birth and lunar phase may be based on historical observations that in the absence of artificial light at night nocturnal births occurred in elevated number when the full moon brightly illuminated the nighttime sky.  
  Address Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Munakata Suikokai General Hospital , Fukutsu, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language English Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0742-0528 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes PMID:32703035 Approved no  
  Call Number GFZ @ kyba @ Serial 3083  
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