Pregnant women skip Leap Day delivery

With more pregnant women trying to schedule the birth of their babies, there is a sizeable group of them that does not not want a leap year baby, say gynaecologists in the city. Most had planned Caesarian sections to avoid the February 29 date.

Known as a leap day in the Gregorian calendar, February 29 is a date that occurs every four years and most leap years are evenly divisible by four. February 29 is the 60th day of the Gregorian calendar in such a year, with 306 days remaining until the end of that year.

Says Dr Amita Phadnis, at Oyster and Pearl hospital, "It's a kind of a trend. Earlier, we had requests for deliveries on 10-10-10 and 11-11-11. However, there are few takers for February 29. A few pregnant women who were due on February 28 or March 1 and 2 had requested for C-section. If the woman is healthy and there are no risks involved, we do go ahead with the planned operations."

It is not only couples, but their parents also personally ask doctors to deliver the baby ahead of the scheduled date.

It may not always be as much a case of old superstitions about the date as the parents' concern over the child not being able to celebrate her or his birthday every year.

Says Dr Sunita Tandulwadkar, head of the In Vitro Fertilisation centre at Ruby Hall Clinic, "The couples tell us that they are not too comfortable with the idea of celebrating their child's birthday only once in four years. We did carry out a couple of planned operations on February 28."

Jehangir Hospital doctors, too, said there were fewer deliveries on Wednesday.

Obstetricians said they do discourage couples from altering their dates and asking for specific mahurats if the pregnant woman's health is at risk.

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