This little snippet made the news circles last week. "A hospital in Jacksonville, Fla., released a statement saying hurricanes cause low barometric pressure which can bring on labor. The hospital also said anytime there's a hurricane in the area, it makes sure their team is ready for an influx of patients."

OK, it is possible that hurricanes cause an influx of pregnant patients, and it is certainly true that hurricanes cause low pressure. The problem is the relationship between these two things.

The air pressure change you get from riding an elevator up 10 floors is much greater than when a hurricane passes right over you. Barometric pressure changes much more from changes in altitude than from weather. If lowering barometric pressure could initiate births, OB-GYN doctors would have women ride elevators up and down to expedite deliveries. Perhaps the stress of a hurricane leads to labor initiation, or perhaps it is merely an unfounded anecdotal association, but barometric pressure changes in storms do not cause babies to be born.

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