Chinese New Year and Fertility


I love learning new things, especially when it comes to cultures different than my own. While I am an American, I am really a Southerner (born in Tennessee), and that means fried chicken, deviled eggs, lightening bugs, and saying “yes ma’am” and “y’all.” We didn’t pay so much attention to the year we were born but more to the day of the week. I was born on a Wednesday and as the saying goes, “Wednesday’s child is full of woe.”

I never really understood what that meant growing up, but after many grueling years in med school and residency and fellowship to become a fertility doctor I think I can now speak to “woe.”

Several times already this year, I have had patients tell me how desperately they want to get pregnant as soon as possible because they want a child born in the Year of the Horse. Some are willing to use fertility medicine and In Vitro fertilization to get pregnant sooner! So I had to look it up to see what was so special about this year:

First off, you need to be born between Jan. 31, 2014 (the Lunar New Year/Spring Festival of China) and Feb. 18, 2015.

Secondly, assuming you have a perfect 40 week pregnancy (the most common length of pregnancy if you count from the last menstrual period) you need to get pregnant by May 28, 2014. Of course if you go one day past your due date, your child won’t be born in the Year of the Horse!

And most importantly, being born in the year of the Horse predicts you will have certain characteristics. I am no expert in Chinese zodiac interpretation but according to some often cited web sites, people born in this year will have the following strengths:

  • They will use ingenious communication techniques (think iPhone but better)
  • They will be the center of attention, very talkative, cleaver, kind to others
  • They will be willing to join in venture businesses
  • They are popular among others
  • They make unremitting efforts to improve themselves

Now I have an understanding on why a patient would want their baby born in the Year of the Horse. Of course, as a fertility doctor, I just want my patients to conceive as quickly as possible so I want more babies in the Year of the Horse as well!

Mother kissing little baby at home

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