Apparently 2013 is going to be a bumper year for babies. My sister-in-law heard the news and thought in my capacity as baby-book author and a ‘mommy blogger’ I would know why. I didn’t. I looked it up.
Baby booms have in the past been attributed to various things: cold winters and hot summers; power cuts; recession; the end of a world war, the end of a world cup or the end of the world period. (Due to the Mayan’s prediction that the world would end Friday 21st December 2012, some think September 2013 will be a particularly active month in the delivery wards. I guess it’s one way to see the world out with a bang and if it’s the end of the world who cares about contraception?)
But 2013’s boom is not being put down to any of the events listed above. Unbelievably the catalyst is a book: 50 Shades of Grey of course. I read it and it didn’t do much for me, but then I’m hard to please – ask my husband. I just got annoyed with the number of times Ana’s ‘breath hitched’. In most readers’ opinions the 40 million-selling erotic fiction trilogy is badly written, but addictive and for many the descriptions of how Christian Grey introduces the young, virginal Anastasia to his world of S&M fetish stir something within.
So, can a book really be responsible for the biggest baby boom in 40 years? It’s true that all over the world women have admitted that the ‘mommy porn’ books spiced up their sex lives and revived their deteriorating marriages. And according to Professor Ellis Cashmore, an expert in culture at Staffordshire University, ‘It’s not a difficult equation: more sex equals more pregnancies, which equals more babies.’ ‘With the millions of copies it has sold – it makes complete sense to assume that in nine months time we are going see a baby boom,’ predicted Cashmore last Spring.
So we’re not necessarily looking at a lot of unplanned pregnancies, but for those ‘trying’ the book could well have increased their chances of getting pregnant by putting them in the mood more often. Providing you do not have fertility problems, frequency is key when it comes to conceiving: the more shots you have at the target the bigger the likelihood of one hitting the bullseye. Having regular sex significantly increases your chances of getting pregnant as it’s more likely that you’ll hit the few days in the month that are the fertile window without needing thermometers and a maths degree to try and calculate it.
Some moms-to-be are openly attributing their conception to 50 Shades of Grey. Check the February 2013 Birth Club on babycentre.com and you’ll see this contribution from browinrobinbird:
I would like to thank the author of “50 Shades of Grey” for our newest edition.
Meanwhile wily e-tailers are hoping to cash in by stocking bibs and onesies with slogans like “Generation Grey” and “9 months ago my mummy read 50 Shades of Grey”.
As Pickle remarked, ‘that’s good news for you mummy – you might sell more copies of your book’. Good point Pickle. Roll up moms-to-be!
Of course the royal sweethearts Kate and Wills are expecting their first baby in the heart of the boom, but I prefer to think that it was the feel good factor of our fabulous Olympic summer that spurred them on