Significantly more babies were born on a weekday than on a weekday or holiday, a large-scale analysis of 21 million births over nearly four decades in Japan shows, published on February 14, 2024 in the open access journal Plus one By Miho Sasa from the University of Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues.

Medical resources typically increase during holidays (including weekends) due to factors such as staffing and hospital policies. This may amplify the effects of holidays: disparities and variations in health outcomes between holidays and weekdays. Dr. Sasa and colleagues studied this effect of vacations, focusing on births, particularly high-risk births that measure preterm and/or low-birth-weight babies.

The authors used birth certificate data (including birthday, birth weight, and gestational age) from more than 21 million people born between 1979-2018 to classify individuals into five groups: low Birth weight (<2,500g), preterm birth (<37 weeks), low birth weight and preterm birth, and full-term birth. For this analysis, the authors divided weekdays (Monday to Friday) into weekend days (Saturday and Sunday), national holidays, alternate holidays, Golden Week (April 29 - May 5, the four consecutive spring festivals in Japan day) and compared with the New Year. Period (December 29 - January 3). Leap day and multiple births were excluded.

They found that all births were significantly less common during weekend or holiday hours versus weekends (p < 0.01). High-risk births increased over the four decades studied, and the trend toward non-weekend or holiday births was particularly pronounced for high-risk births, which occurred especially on Thursdays and Fridays. . Although the study did not include data on medical interventions or pregnancies that did not end in a live birth, which could have potentially influenced the results, it broadly suggests that medical staff often misdiagnosed births. Can control so they are done before a weekend or holiday. Especially for high-risk births. The authors note that this may be prudent because there are often fewer staff or resources available on weekends/holidays, but because some holiday births are unavoidable, it is important for hospitals to They should plan to minimize the risks to mothers who give birth at term. days of the week

The authors added: “Exploring decades of birth data in Japan, our research illuminates an interesting trend — deliveries on holidays, especially those considered high-risk, show a marked decline. demonstrates the need for creative thinking in improving medical resources for everyone, protecting maternal and newborn well-being at all times.”