New Medibank data shows October is being superseded by March as the month with the highest rate of obstetric admissions - meaning Christmas may no longer be the preferred time of year for Australians to conceive.
Medibank customer data collected over the past five years shows an increasing rate of pregnancy admissions in March. Last year, there were 2258 pregnancy admissions in March – 114 more than October. The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data reflects this trend, with 25,280 births in March 2015 – 4492 more than October of the same year.
While the trend of Christmas conceptions may be cooling, the winter months are becoming more popular explained Medibank Chief Medical Officer Dr Linda Swan.
“Christmas can be a busy and stressful time of year, so it makes sense that people are increasingly waiting until the mid-year break to conceive.
“Research on conception suggests there may be an association between stress and fertility, so whichever time of year people choose, a relaxing environment can only help. Conceiving is actually more difficult than you might expect. Studies suggest that only around a quarter of couples conceive in the first month of trying,” said Dr Swan.
In 2017, Medibank launched the Health Concierge service for customers – including eligible customers with obstetric cover – to help them prepare for and recover from hospital stays. The launch also follows the commencement of a Medibank and Monash University partnership that will trial an Australian-first healthy weight program to support women pre-conception and throughout their pregnancy.
“We’re doing more and more to help our customers have a healthy and stress-free conception and pregnancy.
“We want to support our customers and make the process as easy as possible, no matter the time of year,” said Dr Swan.