Are there really more births on full moons?

Statistical Evidence Against the Lunar Effect

Scientists will tell you there's no connection between births and moon phases.
Scientists will tell you there's no connection between births and moon phases.
Photo courtesy of NASA

Anecdotal and anomalous statistical evidence aside, it's tough to find proof that more babies are born on a full moon. The topic has been studied pretty extensively, though, and it's very easy to find evidence disproving the connection.

Here are just a handful of the scientific studies that have found no connection between the full moon and birth rates:

1957: Looked at a series of days with abnormally high numbers of births and tried to correlate them with full moons. No correlation was found [source: Shulman].

1987: Looked at U.S. birth rates by decade and found no correlation between full moons, birth rates or conception rates [source: Shulman].

1996: Looked at 100 previous studies on lunar effects and found no statistically significant proof of the moon's effect on birth, violence, suicides, major disasters or a dozen other supposedly lunar-connected phenomena [source: Skeptic's Dictionary].

1998: Looked at 3,706 births and found that "scientific analysis of data does not support the belief that the number of births increases as the full moon approaches, therefore it is a myth not reality" [source: ScienceDirect].

2005: Looked at 564,039 births in North Carolina between 1997 and 2001 and found "no predictable influence of the lunar cycle on deliveries or complications" [source: PubMed].

2006: Looked at births over a 28-year period in Australia and found that "full moons are not associated with any significant change in the number of conceptions, births, or deaths" [source: Gans].

If there's so much evidence against the lunar effect, why is the belief so widespread? For pretty much the same reasons why lots of other old wives' tales or urban legends pick up a strong following: It's easy to believe.