Leading article: Ice, ice babies?

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The Independent Online

Did last winter's unusual froideur lead to more amour in the bedroom? There has been speculation that the savagely cold temperatures of earlier this year are going to result in a mini baby boom this autumn.

The evidence is, admittedly, rather threadbare. Apparently, Portsmouth midwives are preparing for an infant surge after conducting an unusually large number of 12-week scans this spring. And Marks & Spencer's sales of maternity clothes are up.

Births normally peak in September anyway (and not just in Britain but across the Christian world). But will the cold exacerbate the trend, making this an especially fecund year? We shall simply have to wait and see. But let's hope not, though. After all, we are having enough trouble dealing with the social, financial, demographic and psychological consequences of the last baby boom.