You're having a baby — and it's due on Leap Day. Here's what it's like.

Pregnant person with blocks spelling out
Oh baby! Parents share what it's like to be expecting a baby on Leap Day. (iStock/Getty Images Plus)

When I found out I was pregnant with my second child and that she was due on March 2, 2024, I was so excited and initially didn’t think much of the date. It wasn’t until a few months into my pregnancy that I realized 2024 is a Leap Year, and the possibility of having a baby born on a Leap Day actually hit me.

About 5 million people around the world have birthdays that fall on a Leap Day, or Feb. 29 — meaning they only get to celebrate on their actual birthday every four years, when a Leap Year adds an extra day to the Gregorian calendar. During non-Leap Years, many “leapers,” “leaplings” or “leap babies,” as they’re sometimes called, celebrate their birthday either on Feb. 28 or March 1.

As a mom, I could see how that could be a little annoying for my future daughter. But after reading up on the subject, I realized that being born on a Leap Day can mean more than just the inconvenience of celebrating your actual birth date every four years; it can cause some major administrative headaches, too.

As Raenell Dawn, a Leap Day baby and founder of the Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies, told NPR on the last Leap Day, in 2020: "It wreaks havoc. It really does. When we go online to sign up for something, Feb. 29 is not an option. And when we put in Feb. 29 and our year, which is a leap year, a little window pops up and says, 'invalid date,' or, 'please enter valid date.'” According to Dawn, there have been issues with birth certificates and DMV offices not recognizing Feb. 29 birthdays.

The concept of Leap Days has been around for millennia, but with cesarean sections and inductions, mothers can now have more of a say in whether their child is born on a Leap Day, if they want. Maybe it’s the former producer in me, but I personally had always planned on scheduling an induction date for my baby, the way I did with my first child. Getting to ensure that my younger daughter wouldn’t be stuck with the inconveniences of a Leap Day birthday was, for me, just a bonus.

But of course, having a delivery experience that’s super-choreographed isn’t for everyone. So how do other parents feel about the prospect of a possible Leap Day baby? Yahoo Life spoke with several people to get their perspectives on what it’s like to be pregnant around Leap Day. Here’s what they said.

‘If I have my baby on Leap Day, it's a conversation piece for life.’

Helen Goodman, whose baby is due on Leap Day, tells Yahoo Life she’s excited about her unusual due date. “If I have my baby on Leap Day, it's a conversation piece for life — for both me and my kid,” Goodman says. “And I've heard of people with Leap Day birthdays doing extra-special celebrations every four years when their birthday occurs. I think that sounds like fun.”

The Brooklyn resident says she isn’t arranging birthing plans around the date. “[I’m] hoping to let baby show up when he or she is ready, and if that's on Leap Day, great," Goodman says.

But if past pregnancies are any indication, Goodman’s odds of sticking to schedule and having a Leap Day baby look pretty good; she says her first child, who’s now 2 and a half years old, was born on his due date.

‘He is a big fan of Superman, and apparently [Leap Day] is Superman's birthday.’

Kate Mroz, who lives in Walpole, Mass., is pregnant with her first child due on Feb. 21 — about a week before Leap Day.

“Honestly, I did not think much about it at first,” she tells Yahoo Life of the proximity to Leap Day. “It took us a long time to get pregnant, and we were just so happy to be expecting.”

At 37 weeks pregnant, Mroz hasn't been feeling so great, so she isn't hoping for the baby to be born as late as Leap Day. That said, plenty of other people have been excited by the prospect of a Leap Day baby.

“A lot of people think it would be really cool for the baby to have a Leap Day birthday,” Mroz says. “My dad was really hoping for it when he found out I was due in February, since he is a big fan of Superman, and apparently that is Superman's birthday.”

'I got excited about how special that would be.'

Shelby Mansuri, also in Brooklyn, is due with her first baby the day after Leap Day, on March 1. "At first, I felt a little uneasy at the prospect of the baby's 'actual birth date' only coming around every four years, but once I read more about it I got excited about how special that would be," she tells Yahoo Life.

Still, Mansuri says she isn't making any birthing plans around her due date. "I haven't placed any credence whatsoever on my due date since it's so variable," she says. "Baby will decide whether he's a Leap Day baby or not!"

‘I always thought it would've been cool to be born on Leap Day growing up.’

Branden Kennedy emailed Yahoo Life before heading to the delivery room. He and his wife, who live in eastern North Carolina, were getting ready to welcome their first child a few weeks before his Feb. 25 due date, but Kennedy says the proximity to Leap Day hadn’t affected their birthing plans.

“We said, 'Whatever happens happens,'” he says. Still, Kennedy says he had been hoping his son would have a Feb. 29 birthday.

“I always thought it would've been cool to be born on Leap Day growing up,” he says. “Most of the people I spoke to had something to say about Valentine's Day or maybe a birthday they knew around that time. I was always the one who brought up the possibility of the 29th, and then they usually just agreed, like, ‘Oh yeah! That would be cool.’”

He adds: “I don't think anyone was vehemently opposed. I believe my wife preferred his birthday not to be on the 29th, but ultimately it didn't matter much.”

'We hope sharing a birthday is something that keeps them together for the rest of their lives.’

Last Leap Year, in 2020, Yahoo Life spoke with Dane Demchak; he and his wife Lindsay beat the odds by having not one, but two, babies born on a Leap Day, with neither birth induced. Their son, Omri, was born on Feb. 29, 2016, and four years later, their daughter, Scout, was born on Feb. 29, 2020 — four days ahead of her due date.

“My wife was like, ‘What’s your [due date] guess’? And I said, ‘I guarantee she’ll come on Omri’s birthday,’” Dane told Yahoo Life by phone from the hospital in Brooklyn.

But he said he never actually believed it would happen — until the day arrived. “She woke me up about midnight on Feb. 29 and she was having contractions,” Demchak said. Scout was born later that morning.

“We hope sharing a birthday is something that keeps them together for the rest of their lives, something that will always keep them close,” Demchak added of his two children.

What an ob-gyn says

Dr. Frank Patrick, an ob-gyn at Mercy Hospital South in St. Louis, Mo., says that overall his patients have “strongly preferred” not to deliver on Leap Day.

“It’s a typical request to be induced before Feb. 29 to avoid the odd day,” he tells Yahoo Life. Still, Patrick says he has delivered several babies on Leap Day.

“I remember one patient [whose baby] I delivered on Leap Day who was VERY upset. After I told her that [rapper] Ja Rule was born on Leap Day, she felt much better,” he says.

Another memorable Leap Day birth? “Once, I delivered twins in which the first baby was delivered on Feb. 28 while the second baby was delivered on Feb. 29," Patrick recalls. "The parents jokingly said that they will get off ‘cheap' because they will be able to skip the one baby's birthday except for every fourth year.”