FOLLOWING a week where auspicious eves were celebrated for the anticipated gifts and promise of the upcoming days, Tamworth hospital’s first baby for 2018 had a fitting titular twist.
Richard and Jordan Young from Walcha welcomed their second child, baby girl Eve Beatrice, at 6.49am on New Year’s Day.
Coming a day earlier than expected, weighing 8.3 pounds, baby Eve worked her way to the top of the list to potentially be the region’s first birth for the New Year following a busy 2017 in the maternity ward.
Tamworth hospital nursing director Michelle Keir said last year was minimally down on 2016’s birth tally, but was still a “productive” 12 months.
“So, we had 988 births for 2017,” Ms Keir told The Leader.
“We didn’t hit the 1000 births we received the year before, so the previous year was a little bit busier.”
Historically, the last quarter of the calendar year tends to be the boom birth period at Tamworth, but Ms Keir said 2017’s marginally quieter run could be down to more mums staying in smaller communities to have their bubs.
“Sometimes that’s because expectant mothers may go to other areas such as Armidale or Gunnedah to give birth as well, so we have other facilities that provide birthing services across our area,” she said.
“For a perspective of Gunnedah, we try and keep mums and babies within their community.
“It’s much nicer to be in your own community to have the birth, but we certainly try and facility that when possible.”
However, the special care nursery in the maternity ward grew in 2017, Ms Keir said, with seven babies in the sector in recent weeks.
“Our special care nursing has certainly grown,” she said. “That’s babies over 33 weeks that are a little bit premature that just need to grow.
“They spend a considerable amount of time, but it allows them to not have to travel to John Hunter, they can stay here with in the community and look after their babies and grow up here and get to their birth weight.”