I think this is the first article I've read about babies born at this time of year that talks about the tax advantages of December babies.
In the final days of 2004, Houston delivery rooms were filled with parents fawning over their new bundles of joy and counting the small bundles of cash they won't have to send to Uncle Sam in April.
By delivering before today, these parents qualify for a $1,000 federal income tax credit, and $3,100 of their earnings are exempt from taxes.
Most of the pre-Jan. 1 births resulted from good timing, doctors say. But some parents weren't bashful about asking for a little extra help in beating the deadline.
"There is some pressure exerted to try to have the baby before the end of the year ... to get the tax break," said Dr. Geoffrey Schnider.
Schnider said he's usually willing to accommodate, as long as it's safe.
"So-called 'social' inductions are done if the cervix is, quote, 'ripe,' but we never do it if there is any potential danger to the baby or mom," he said.
As a result, hospital maternity wards tend to get busier in the final days of the year, Schnider said.
"There is a flurry in the elective Caesarean sections," he said. "I think I have two patients left for this month, one who's on her way in right now."