Which is the most popular month to give birth?
PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 January 2020
Ipswich and Colchester hospitals are the birthplaces of thousands of babies every year - but one time of year is particularly busy thanks to an unexpected Christmas bonus.
September and October are the busiest months for both of the East Anglian hospitals, with 1,001 babies being born in Colchester in the last three Septembers, while in Ipswich, the busiest month was October with 982 births.
It is perhaps no coincidence that September comes nine months after the Christmas and New Year season, where the spirit of goodwill to all men and women runs more freely than usual.
Christmas Day 2019 was no exception, with four babies born at Colchester.
At Ipswich there was a near miss - Emma Wright gave birth to her son River at 11.55pm on Christmas Eve, missing out by just five minutes.
The local figures, obtained under a Freedom of Information request, follow national trends and East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT), which runs the hospitals, said it was not surprised.
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Anna Shasha, director of midwifery at ESNEFT, said: "Lots of babies are conceived over the Christmas period.
"Every midwife around the world knows September and October are bumper months for births and this trend is reflected on our maternity units too.
"We are always excited about babies being born all year round, but having a baby at Christmas is a really, really special time.
"From midnight we are all waiting to greet the first baby born on Christmas Day. There's always lots of happiness and joy for our teams and, of course, the parents."
Recently published data revealed December has been the quietest month for the maternity departments at both hospitals in 2017 and 2018.
Again following national trends it is reported nearly 2,000 children are born nationwide on September 26 - making it the country's most common birthday, with December 11 said to be the most popular date for conception in the UK.
Overall, 10,334 boys were born at the two hospitals between January 2017 and October 2019 in comparison to 9,893 girls, following a national trend since recors began in 1838.