When people think about getting pregnant, “when is the best month to get pregnant?” is one of the most common questions they ask. Is it better to try to shoot for conceiving in September or March, or does it matter at all?

What is the best month to get pregnant?

Some people consider weather. In hot environments it can really suck to be heavily pregnant during the summer. On the other hand, being pregnant in the winter might mean you need to buy a maternity coat, and those can get expensive. People who are their biggest in the summer might be able to get away with just a pair of maternity jeans and a couple big T-shirts.

Food is also a consideration. During the summer fruits and vegetables are plentiful and comparatively inexpensive. (It’s especially true for people looking for organic produce.)

Then, of course, we can consider the kid’s birthday and future academic performance. Do we want kids born in the fall, who will be the biggest and oldest in their grades? Or do we have late-summer babies who will always be the youngest in the class?

According to researchers, there are actually differences in fetal outcome depending on the month of conception.

In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Janet Currie and Hannes Schwandt of Princeton say that babies conceived in May are 10 percent more likely to be born prematurely. Babies conceived between June and August are the biggest, weighing an extra 8 or 9 grams on average.

These findings may be related to the fact that babies conceived in May are more likely to be near the end of their gestation during cold and flu season in January and February.  People who conceive in the summer tend to have bigger babies, and they also tend to put on more weight in general.

The analysts looked at a sample of 647,050 groups of siblings accounting for more than 1.4 million children. They compared the children to their siblings, because by picking kids with the same mothers, they could control for things like maternal education and economic status.

The research may indicate that any time from June to August is the best month to get pregnant. But honestly, does anyone really get to choose? We can try to get pregnant in February for that oldest-in-the-class September baby, or in July to get the slightly heavier baby, but it’s really out of our control. Some people try for months or years. Sometimes technology is involved. Sometimes kids are adopted.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, any month is a good month.

When do you think is the best time to be pregnant? Let us know in the comments.

(H/t Romper, Image: iStockPhoto / katrinaelena)