Birth records of the French-Canadian population for the period 1621-1765 were analyzed retrospectively to examine the effect of maternal birth season on the seasonal distribution of births. Preliminary examination indicated that there was a bimodal pattern in birth seasonality: a major peak in early spring, a trough in early summer, a minor peak in autumn, and a trough around December. Because this seasonality was strongly biased at the level of the first birth by the month of marriage, which was concentrated in November, the seasonality of nonfirst births (n = 32,926) was examined in relation to the four seasons of maternal birth. Mothers bom in May-July showed a flatter monthly distribution of nonfirst births at a maternal age of 28 years or more. Analysis of marriage-first birth intervals indicated that mothers who married in August-October showed a lower percentage of immediate conception (intervals of 8-10 months), whereas those mothers born in May-July had a higher percentage of immediate conception. This difference in birth seasonality shown by mothers born in May-July is similar to results from early twentieth-century Japan. Some seasonal infertility factors could have affected the embryos at the earliest stage of pregnancy, modifying a part of the seasonal variation in birth rate.
Nonaka, K.; Desjardins, B.; Légaré, J.; Charbonneau, H.; and Miura, T.
"Effects of Maternal Birth Season on Birth Seasonality in the Canadian Population During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,"
5, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol62/iss5/8