There’s a Mother Goose poem that suggests the date of your birth impacts your personality:
Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace;
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go;
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for its living;
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day
Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.
Astrology too suggests that your personality is dictated by the position of the planets at the exact moment you cry your first cry.
Yet now there’s science, too, that suggests the month of your birth can affect your personality.
How Your Birth Month Affects You
A Time magazine article recently summarized the “small but increasingly persuasive body of evidence that there may indeed be some cause and effect at work.”
There are countless factors in your development as a baby in the womb that can be impacted by season:
Nutrition — Even where food is plentiful the availability of certain vitamins and proteins can be influenced by season
Viruses — A baby gestating during wintertime may be affected by a mother’s bout of the flu or seasonal affective disorder. Low serotonin levels in the maternal brain, for instance, could potentially cause serotonin shortfalls in the baby too.
The season in which we’re born can affect us after birth, too. A 2010 study of mice found that mouse pups (did you know that was their name?) “born and weaned in simulated winter light adjusted less well to a change to summer light, exhibiting poorer feeding habits and activity levels.” Meanwhile, “mice born and weaned in summer light had no such problems adjusting to winter conditions.”
Seasonal Patterns for Humans
Scientists have worked to see if these kinds of findings are true for humans too. The preliminary results suggest yes. Here are some of the Time examples:
Spring: March, April and May babies score higher for general optimism. Yet, at the same time, spring babies have proven more susceptible to clinical depression. According to a study of 58,000 subjects in the U.K. in 2012, May babies are most at risk while November babies have the lowest depression rates.
Summer: June, July and August babies are more likely to cycle rapidly between high and low moods. Yet this doesn’t reach to bipolar diagnoses — those are lowest among babies born in August.
Fall: Fall babies tend to enjoy the equilibrium suggested by the zodiac sign Libra’s scales. Studies show “people born in fall not only enjoy low levels of depression, but are similarly less likely to develop bipolar disorder.” Nevertheless, the autumn-born “do have a tendency to irritability.”
Winter: Babies with these birthdates face several challenges: “higher levels of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, SAD and depression.” At least they’re likely to be less irritable. Plus, one study of 300 celebrities did find that January and February are good months “to be born if you want to be famous since those months correlate with creativity and imaginative problem-solving.”
Keep in mind, this is a fledgling area of scientific research. Still, if you’re looking for something else to blame for your blues or tendency to bicker, you could potentially point to your birth month.
Bad at Sports? Blame Your Birthday
It’s my special day — mine and some 20M others.