Where Are the Polish Sunday Babies? Declining Weekend Births in the Years 1967-2017
Purpose: The main objective of the paper was to analyze the weekly seasonality of childbirths in 1967-2017 nationwide, divided by voivodeships and types of gminas (local communities). The relationship between the intensity of births on Sundays and the proportion of childbirths performed by caesarean section was also investigated Design/Methodology/Approach: The analysis covered 26,060,540 records containing the dates of births in Poland from the PESEL database for 1967-2017. The seasonality of births was presented by means of heat maps, while the Pearson correlation coefficient was used in the analysis of relationships. Findings: Research confirms the increasing proportion of deliveries carried out by the cesarean section in the majority of countries worldwide. However, Poland is one of the countries where the prevalence of cesarean sections is the highest in the world. According to WHO, the percentage of cesarean sections should be about 10-15 % of all births, while in 2017 in Poland it amounted to 45%. The empirical study confirmed a marked decline in births on Saturdays and Sundays in Poland. Practical Implications: The described trends may adversely affect demographic processes, e.g., they may exacerbate the low fertility rate in Poland. Originality/value: The study fills the gap in the international research on the phenomenon by adding results from Poland.