One Iowa hospital has faced what they call a 'birthquake' this week. The phrase is used to describe a surge in births, and staff says the reason it happened this week is simple. The full moon.

KWWL reports that Finley Hospital in Dubuque claims that 40% of all births at the hospital happen within two days of a full moon. We had just such an occurrence Thursday and hospital officials say that they are once again seeing a surge in births. Five babies were born in the past 24 hours. Officials say they expect more before the week is over.

Jenni Scott, manager of the hospital's birth suites, told KWWL that her staff is always prepared each month.

You can sit here and its the calm before the storm, and then all of a sudden you can have five patients called in within a half hour of each other. So it just is having to be ready, having the staff needed, to give that great patient care.

Scott says that the most babies born during a birthquake were 13 within 72 hours. But are more babies really born during the week of a full moon? If you're a believer in the theory, like the staff at Finley Hospital, the research is not on your side. According to, several studies have looked at things like frequency of births, method of delivery, and complications during all phases of the moon cycle. No significant associations were found between lunar cycles and births. Researchers claim that more births happening around a full moon is a myth with no real science to back it up.

Full Moon

It would be interesting to hear from other birth centers to see if their statistics match Finley's 40% birth rate near full moons. Perhaps then we could find out if birthquakes are real.

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