Stats SA recently published and released key findings on the registered and recorded live births in South Africa for 2017, from which we’ve gathered the top baby name for the past year, as well as why South Africans may be having fewer children.
But we’ve also managed to figure out exactly when, throughout the year, babies are being born – and subsequently when they’re conceived. And you guys, the phrase, 'Your parents started the new year off with a bang', makes complete sense now.
Graph: Parent24. Mouse over the lines to see exact dates and numbers. Stats: Stats SA.
Our data shows two very specific things:
1. The trend is pretty consistent; and
2. The most births occur in January, March and September every year, with November being the month the least number of babies were born.
We figure here’s why:
January and March babies
Counting back 9 months is easy to do: January babies were conceived around April the previous year, and March babies in June.
And what happens in April and June? In South Africa, especially Cape Town, it starts getting darker and colder around April and fire places are lit and… so are you? Cuddle weather is a real thing. The band The Neighbourhood dedicated an entire song to Sweater Weather and, sexologist Elvis Munatswa says, “Baby-making weather is the type of weather that makes people want to sit in the house and cuddle.” And when you’re snuggled up under a blanket with your partner, one thing often leads to another and 9 months later you’re shopping for diapers and dummies instead of firewood.
Oddly enough, considering November babies were likely conceived in February – you know, the month of love, when everyone’s supposedly in the mood – we’re guessing a lot of couples may be there for a good time, not a long time.
When I met you in the summer...
We do, however, think the main reason couples are conceiving in April, June, December and early January – when September babies are conceived – is because these are all festive and holiday seasons in South Africa. So when everyone’s on holiday, and the kids you already have are at a friend's house or hunting Easter eggs, you could be all alone, with a lot more free time and energy, embarking on your very own eggspedition…
When people are in holiday mode, they’re joyous, going out more and having fun, which just generally puts them in a good mood. This also adds to the appeal of summer time in South Africa, when everyone’s dressed up, or down, and enjoying the beaches and soaking up the sun.
Research conducted by fertility expert Toni Weschler indicated that when couples are less stressed and just having a good time they're more likely to conceive. And it also just makes sense that with everyone enjoying the most wonderful time of the year, chances are people are simply just having a lot more sex.
So if you were born in September, I guess now you know why everyone’s always saying your parents started the new year off with a bang. And if you just had a spring baby, well, we know what you did last summer…
Is this true for you and your partner? Was your little one born in January, March or September? Thinking back now, could it be for any one of these reasons? Tell us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we could publish your comments. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.
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