Scheduling Special Birth Date of Newborn

Scheduling Special Birth Date of Newborn Scheduling Special Birth Date of Newborn

It has become fashionable today for parents to decide when their babies will be born. Due to advancements in medical science, women especially those opting for C-section, can decide on the special day and time of their baby's birth.

Also, there's plenty of evidence that modern medicine can schedule babies’ arrival. 

Some parents strongly insist on delivering their babies on a unique date, such as palindrome dates like 10/01, or dates which contain the same digits like 2/2 or 11/11. Some women even schedule their delivery a fortnight earlier than the due date to achieve their fixation, while studies have shown babies born even two weeks early are at higher risk of health problems.

Last Monday (January 30) was a special date in the Iranian calendar (the 11th day of the 11th month of the current Iranian year 1395). According to Salamat News, on the day, many women were in hospitals to undergo their elective caesarean surgeries. 

“My first child was born on 1392/02/2 in the Iranian calendar. My doctor had earlier told me the due date by natural delivery was 92/02/12. My husband requested whether the baby can be delivered a week sooner on that special date, and fortunately the doctor agreed; so I underwent C-section surgery,” a young mother waiting at a hospital in Tehran told the Sobh-e-Noe Persian language newspaper. 

“Now I’m here to give birth to my second child on 95/11/11," she added.

Usually the due date of delivery cannot be exactly predicted. Around 80% of babies actually arrive 2 weeks before or 2 weeks after the date given, which means that women who want to give births on special dates should undergo C-section, a costly surgery which already has high demand and challenges the government's efforts to encourage natural births.

“Many mothers want their babies to have a unique birth date,” a nurse told the newspaper. “Yesterday we had only one C-section. Today, (January 30) eight surgeries were performed till afternoon.”

She also noted that 1395/5/5 was one of the busiest days in the current calendar year that ends in March, as many women wanted their babies to be born on the day.

  Dangerous Decision

According to health experts, babies do better after a scheduled C-section if they are born no sooner than a week before their due date (or before 39 weeks gestation).

Many global studies have indicated that babies deliberately brought into the world earlier than their due date will have more complications, including breathing problems, even though they be full term (due dates are set at 40 weeks gestation and infants are full term at 37 weeks). Even just a few days can make a difference. 

A recent study conducted by the University of North Carolina indicated that babies delivered at 37 weeks were twice as likely to have health problems, including breathing troubles, infections, low blood sugar or the need for intensive care; 15% of those born at 37 weeks and 11% born at 38 weeks had complications, compared to 8% of the babies delivered at 39 weeks. 

  High Rate

The rate of C-section in Iran is at an all-time high, accounting for about 50% of births. There are lots of reasons for the high demand for C-section including late marriages and older mothers, health complications, the preference of mothers as well as doctors, and the risks of having a natural birth after a previous caesarean birth. 

The ideal rate for C-section is 10-15% of all births in a country as per global standards, but the figure is 50% in Iran according to health minister Seyed Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi.

Before implementation of 2014 Health Reform Plan, the C-section rate was 56%. The Health Ministry since then has taken effective measures to promote natural childbirth. As the first step, it declared natural delivery free of cost in all state-run hospitals. 

As the next step, 1,770 labor and delivery rooms (where women can give birth and stay there for two hours after delivery) are to be constructed in 336 state-run hospitals across the country. So far, 848 LDR rooms have been built.

Annually around 1.5 million babies are born in Iran.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints