Iceland may have happened upon a winning strategy for increasing birthrates: Win more soccer matches.
Exactly nine months after beating England during the Euro 2016 football tournament, Iceland reportedly delivered a record number of babies, according to an anesthesiologist at a prominent hospital.
Nine months to the day after the winning game, the hospital “Set a record for the number of epidurals in the maternity duty this weekend,” Asgeir Petur Thorvaldsson, a doctor at the Landspitali University Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland tweeted Monday.
The high amount of epidurals, the painkiller used for women in labor, could indicate that Iceland’s World Cup victory celebrations resulted in the creation of babies.
The underdog Iceland team booted England from the World Cup qualifying champion ship with a 2 -1 win on June 27, 2016. Even though Iceland lost to France in the next game, it was one of the biggest wins in soccer history, and a big deal for a country whose soccer team ranked 37 out of 54 teams going into the season.
The small nation Nordic rock in the northern Atlantic has a problem with declining birthrates, however. Only 4,129 children were born in Iceland during 2015, which works out to 1.81 children per woman, the Iceland Review reported last May.
The figure is the lowest in recorded history for Iceland, but slightly higher than the rest of Europe’s average of 1.58 children per woman. Various countries have tried methods to encourage fertility.
Spain has appointed a new “sex czar,” a Swedish politician proposed giving workers a paid hour off of work each week for copulation, and Russia famously named September 12 a national “Day of Conception” in 2007, promising a new refrigerator to anyone gave birth exactly nine months later.
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