Oh, the tales a labor and delivery nurse can tell.
Along with the general chaos that can accompany new babies on their way into the world, all it takes is a full moon or—more dramatically—a raging hurricane to make things really interesting. That’s the conventional wisdom, anyway, among those who swear that pregnant women go into labor, en masse, during major storms.
But is it true?
With Hurricane Matthew expected to deliver a devastating blow to Florida, pregnant women are already heading to the hospital ahead of time as a precaution. Two hospitals in the Miami area are allowing some pregnant women to register for sheltering at the hospital before the storm hits, according to the local ABC affiliate there. Priority will likely be given to women who are pregnant with twins or multiples, and who are at least 34 weeks pregnant—along with other pregnant women who have been diagnosed with placental abnormalities or have a history of preterm labor.
When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, some 1,500 pregnant women flocked to area hospitals. “I’ve never seen so many pregnant people in my entire life,” a spokeswoman for Memorial Hospital, in Fort Lauderdale, told The Sun Sentinel at the time. Some women ended up delivering their babies over the course of the hurricane—though most did not.