No baby boom at new year

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THE PREDICTED millennium baby-boom and ensuing chaos in maternity hospitals over the new year will not happen, a survey showed yesterday.

Researchers at the University of Southampton studied the health, diets and life- styles of 20,000 women and say they have found no evidence to support the baby-boom theory.

The Royal College of Midwives has expressed concern that some couples may have been tempted to conceive after cash offers by the media to the parents of the first baby of the new millennium.

Only 5 per cent of babies are born on the predicted date and a gestation period of anything between 37 and 42 weeks is considered normal. On 1 January 1997, 2,000 babies were born in the UK.