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Will Ireland Have A Baby Boom Thanks To The Blizzard?

While the country was on lockdown as the beast from the east took its ferocious grip on every county across the land, you more than likely had to cancel your plans for the weekend, and were instead hunkered down at home with a full fridge and an adequate supply of bread!

So, what did the good people of Ireland do while they waited out the storm?

It's quite a common belief that big weather events like blizzards and storms, as well as seasonal things like St. Valentine's Day, contribute to lots and lots of babies being born 40 weeks later. But before you start nudging your friends and working out due dates (6th of December, I've done the math), is it actually true that bad weather = baby booms?

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Logically, Yes.

It's true that bad weather like this gives couples lots of extra time together indoors and that can naturally lead to a surge in the birth rates nine months later. I mean, what else are you to do on those long, cold, dark evenings?

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Baby Boom Examples

Over in the states, Hurricane Sandy was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. In New Jersey, some hospitals reported a double-digit increase in births nine months afterwards.

Other alleged baby booms have been associated with the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York, and in Ireland, the big snow of 2010. Maternity wards were reportedly stretched to breaking point as a surge of women delivered babies conceived during the snowy months.

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The Sciency Bit

Many say the increase in birth rates is just down to couples being bored and, erm, affectionate ... but there may actually be a bit of science behind it. There's a theory that we have a genetic component within us that increases the fertility rate when the human body senses a threat to the species' survival. And this threat would certainly be felt during an extreme weather event or potential catastrophe.

A professor at Brigham Young University, Utah, conducted a study in 2007 which tallied births following storms. Interestingly, the report found that when there was a low-severity storm, there was a significant fertility effect and an increase in birth rates nine months on. But when there were major catastrophes, including high-severity storms and hurricanes, it had the opposite effect and lowered the birth rate.

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The lead author on the study, Richard Evans said:

"If the lights and the T.V. are out, it kind of sets the table for romance . . . But, if you're running for your life, you can't make babies."

So whether you think the weather-related baby boom phenomenon is all a load of baloney, or you think the evidence is pretty clear, who's to say you can't have a bit of fun carrying out some research of your own?

Stay warm, stay safe, and in case you need it in nine months time, check out our baby name section here.

About the Author

Editor of, Mairéad Cahalan is a creator of content, a lover of music, red wine and coffee, and a part-time wedding singer! Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud and LinkedIn.


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