Every time a baby is born, Brahms’ “Lullaby” is played at Integris Bass Baptist Health Center. Lately, they have played it a lot.
“For me, being in a non-medical part of the hospital, that is a happy thing,” said Anita Luetkemeyer, Integris spokeswoman.
There have been so many babies born this month the hospital set a new record of 107 and counting Friday, said Dawn Koehn, RN. Koehn said there still are some babies waiting to be born. The record was 104 in July of 2008 and the hospital averages between 80-85 per month.
“We are a regional health center, so they are from all over,” she said.
Koehn said obstetrics staff began to notice the high number of babies about July 4. She estimated the most babies in one day at nine. There have been 49 girls and 62 boys, and 36 of the babies were Caesarean sections, she said. The heightened number is making nurses, who already put in 12-hour shifts, work overtime and chip in to help others. Koehn said the nursing staff has been working together a long time and works well as a team. Plus, they have called in extra help.
“It’s a good group, and they are prepared to do extra things,” Koehn said.
At one point during the month, five deliveries were made and two more immediately went into delivery, she said. Several of the babies were born within minutes of each other. The birthing area contains a 20-bed unit for mothers who deliver in the birthing suite, then are allowed to remain in the suite rather than immediately be moved to a room. Koehn said even during the busiest times they have not had to move people around much.
“Moms are so overjoyed. They are mostly happy, healthy women, so we don’t have many medical problems,” Koehn said.
Koehn has been at Integris Bass for 14 years, and was present when the record was set in 2008 and during the millennium. This has been the busiest time of them all, she said.
St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center also reported 44 babies had been delivered as of Thursday, which is a high number for them.