Tonight is theoretically the ideal night to conceive in order to give birth on 1 January. Tabloid newspaper editors and publicists such as Max Clifford are already promising untold millions to the first baby of the new year. But consultants are worried that a surge in births could pose health risks because hospitals will be operating with few staff.
Chemists are reporting a jump in the sales of pregnancy tests and ovulation predictors.
But family planning experts are warning that the chances of timing a birth exactly were slim. Only five per cent of women have babies when forecast. Tonight ITV is screening a programme with a guide to conception and romantic films while Classic FM has a night of "smooth classics".
A spokeswoman for the British Pregnancy Advisory Service said: "The notion that the nation is going to be bonking [tonight] in order to have a baby on a certain day is absurd. Would-be parents want to conceive when it's right for them."
In Norway workers were given a morning off so they could use the time to produce a millennium baby. Anton Dahl, the Mayor of Kautukain, said: "This is a big joint effort for our town and I expect everyone to do their best."