• France's news in English

French maternity wards prepare for busiest day

Sophie Inge · 23 Sep 2014, 12:00

Published: 23 Sep 2014 12:00 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

September 23rd is the busiest day in France’s maternity wards, according to a new study, the news website 20 Minutes reported on Tuesday.

But the phenomenon is nothing new, according to Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, a researcher at the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED) which conducted the study.

“The peak in births around September 23rd is a phenomenon that is recorded every year, including in other countries. So there is no reason for this [statistic] to change this year,” Régnier-Loilier said, according to French paper 20 Minutes.

According to the institute, the main reason behind this rise in births is the increased sexual activity around the new year, with lots of couples deciding to start a new family. 

However, for a majority of new parents these pregnancies may simply be down to too much champagne, with Régnier-Loilier noting a decrease in “contraceptive vigilance” and an increase in abortions around that period. 

But France’s maternity wards will be able to cope with the influx of expecting mothers, according to INED.

“The annual peak in births lasts one week around September 23rd and is quite modest with just eight percent more births than on other weeks of the year,” said Régnier-Loilier.

“This surplus of births does not affect all maternity wards and normally means just one or two more births per institution.”

Whatever the cause, France officials are glad to see a busy day for babies.

Story continues below…

The French are second only to the Irish for the crown of top baby maker in France, but things are changing. Last year the birthrate fell below the symbolic level of two children per woman.

It's slightly worrying for a country that invests a lot of money on daycare, new parent support and direct payments to families for child-related expenses. However officials believe the fall could be influence by the country's moribund economy.

Baby trends are also changing in France, with more mother having babies later in life as they focus on their careers and individual goals. Last year women in their late 30s gave birth to more of France's annual crop of babies than at anytime since at least the 1940s. 

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
How speaking French can really mess up your English
Photo: CollegeDegree360/Flickr

So you've mastered French, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

French claims that Jungle camp is empty are rubbished
Photo: AFP

Reports from the scene say scores of migrants are still in the area of the Jungle despite French authorities claiming "mission fulfilled."

Kidnapped Riviera millionaire left tied up in car boot in Nice
Photo: AFP

Head of luxury Cannes hotel has been found alive after being kidnapped in Nice on Monday.

Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Photo: Panoramas/Flickr

... and it's tenants in the smaller apartments that get hit the hardest. Could you be paying too much?

France takes baby steps to make life simpler
Photo: AFP

... including extending the ridiculously short time limit for registering a new baby.

IN PICTURES: Calais Jungle camp goes up in flames
All Photos: AFP

Migrants leave behind a scorched camp as they are moved to locations across France.

French expats in UK suffer Brexit abuse
French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Photo: AFP

French nationals no longer feel at home in the UK, ambassador says. But Brits in France have been greeted with sympathy since the referendum.

Six to go on trial in France over topless Kate photos
Photo: AFP

The topless pics sparked fury among the royals.

France sees biggest drop in jobless rate for 20 years
Photo: AFP

Good news at last. But it's unlikely to keep President Fran├žois Hollande in his job.

Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Photo: AFP

Some in France have shown solidarity with their new guests, while others have made it clear they are not welcome.

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available