Mummy Buzz


Hurricane Irene's Babies

Why Disasters Spark Baby Boom

Nothing like a storm to get you in the mood. It may seem unlikely, but natural disasters have a tendency to lead to a spike in births, especially during extended power outages when there is no television for entertainment.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, a record number of babies were born -- 17, to be precise, within 18 hours at one North Carolina hospital, and in Virginia, more than three dozen. Maybe the stress of evacuation and the coming storm set off labour in some cases?

Nine months from now, expect another baby surge and perhaps even a few little girls named in Irene's honour. (One newborn in Pennsylvania, whose midlde name is 'Hurricane', is already a living reminder of the storm.)

In 1965, the so-called Great Blackout, which left a good section of Canada and the States in darkness for up to 13 hours, set the stage for romance. A sociologist at the time admitted that “under the circumstances, it’s not unreasonable to assume that a lot of sex went on”.

Already the children of Hurricane Katrina are entering kindergarten classes in New Orleans, a potent reminder of new beginnings.

As someone born on the anniversary of JFK's assassination, I can relate. My mother was born on the day Pearl Harbour was bombed. How would you feel about giving birth on a tragic historical occasion?