Could you guess the least popular day to give birth in Australia?

Of course the first, and more obvious one, that springs to mind would be February 29th. But given that only happens every 4 years, it makes perfect sense.

But what about a date that occurs every year? Then what would your guess be for the least popular birthday?

If you said December 25th – congratulations!


According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data from 2017, the least common birthdays in Australia are;

February 29th

December 25th

December 26th

January 1st

January 26th

April 25th


Notice anything about those dates?

Yep -that’s right they are all public holidays.



Why are public holidays the least popular days to have a baby?


I think we can safely assume that a baby doesn’t know when a public holiday falls, so it’s probably not baby trying to avoid a public holiday birthday.

So what other factors could influence this?

We know there are seasonal influences that impact when babies are most likely to be born. You only have to look at September (being the most popular month to give birth) as an indicator that Christmas holidays seem to be a popular time to make a baby.

But that still doesn’t explain the sharp drops in births on public holidays. Nor the rise (sometimes smaller, sometimes larger) in the days or week preceding the public holidays. For example, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are the 2nd and 3rd least popular days to give birth. Yet in the week before Christmas, the 17th of December is ranked 159th most popular day of the year to give birth and the 18th the 204th most popular.

So what does explain it?

Put simply, it comes down to preference. Sometimes it may be the preference of parents not wanting to have a baby on a public holiday.


The more likely reason?

The preference of caregivers and hospitals.

Obstetricians and midwives, like the rest of the population, would probably prefer to be spending their holidays relaxing – not working.

There may also be the pressure from hospitals looking to work with less staff.


Trends across the week


When the data is broken down even further, a trend emerges across weeks, with fewer births happening on Saturdays and Sundays. Again, the question arises, why? And again we can likely safely assume babies don’t have a concept of days of the week, nor a preference for the day of the week they are born.

It is more likely to be pressure from hospitals and care providers.

Why does all of this matter?

According to the Australian mothers and babies report (2018), less than half (43.2%) of all women went into labour spontaneously. 34.2% were induced and 22.5% had no labour (meaning a caesarean section prior to labour).

More than half of all women were being induced or had a caesarean section with no labour.

It is hard to get accurate data on why induction of labour was being done, due to differences in methods and definitions. What we do know that in WA one of the main reason for induction of labour was prolonged pregnancy (accounting for 12.3% of all inductions). This is in spite of the fact that only 0.2% of pregnancies went to 42 weeks and over.



Holidays are not a reason for induction.


Of course, mums-to-be aren’t likely to be told by their obstetrician that the reason for induction or caesarean is a holiday or weekend. The conversation is more likely to be along the lines of;

You’ve got a big baby or baby is growing much bigger than normal


Let’s not leave baby in there too long, better out than in.


Once you start going past 39/40 weeks, your placenta gets too old


Baby will run out of room


You’re too old/overweight – we need to get baby out sooner.

Let’s be clear, there are definitely times when induction of labour and caesareans are absolutely necessary and life-saving.

Christmas and other public holidays or weekends, disguised as some other fear-based reason, are not reasons for induction.


Making an informed decision

Inductions and caesareans are not without risks. It is important to understand why the induction is being suggested and that the benefits of being induced (for mother and baby) outweigh the risks of doing so.

So if it is coming up to a holiday period and induction of labour is suggested, remember to ask questions, discuss all of the risks and benefits of being induced or having a caesarean (or of not doing it) and make the decision that is right for you and your baby. And most of all remember that you do have the right to say no or simply ask for more time.

Happy Holidays!



Kate Vivian is a self-professed pregnancy and birth geek who is finally learning to embrace the chaos of having 3 kids. It was the birth and ‘bringing baby home’ experience of her first baby, and the overwhelming guilt that went with it, that led her to start Bright Mums – and create a world where Mums matter.

 A Certified Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, childbirth educator and postpartum doula, Kate works with Mums-to-be not only supporting them through pregnancy, and birth but also teaching them to honour themselves at a time when the world is telling them their baby is the most important thing.

With almost 2 decades in adult education, Kate has the ability to create a safe space, a non-judgey space. A place where Mums can relax and feel supported regardless of what their journey looks like. 

A keen traveller in a former (pre-kids) life, Kate dreams of the day her kids are big enough to take skiing and they can completely show her up while she is busy falling down mountains.

You can find out more about Kate or how Hypnobirthing Australia classes by clicking below.