Biggest baby boom in quarter century hits Casper

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — The Wyoming Medical Center in Casper hospital is in the midst of a baby boom — the biggest in more than a quarter century.

Doctors at the Casper hospital delivered 123 babies last month, the Casper Star-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/17sj9uV). The hospital hasn’t had a month like that since March of 1986, according to a handwritten tally kept by the nurses.

“There is no explanation, other than there are a lot of child-bearing families in Casper right now, which is a good thing,” said Birth Place nurse Suzi Bower.

In a typical month, the unit will average between 85 and 90 babies, she said. The hospital has topped that in all but one month this year.

Normally, the Birth Place at WMC will clear out after busy days, said labor and delivery nurse Melinda Sausedo. Not in July.

“We have been consistently full down here for a couple of weeks,” she said. “As soon as a room would empty, we would have someone waiting to go into it.”

This week was no exception. The Birth Place was so full at times that nurses used pediatric rooms for new moms and their babies.

“It’s been slammed,” said Bryon Waltz, whose daughter, Lincoln McGeorge, was born Wednesday at the hospital. “The nurses seem really busy, like they’re running around everywhere.”

To handle the increase in patients, the medical staff has worked extra hours or come in on scheduled days off.

It’s been stressful at times, Bower admits. But the nurses have pulled together to make sure patients get what they need, she said.

“It’s just kind of like an emergency situation,” she said. “You do what you’ve got to do. You take really good care of your patients. You make sure your babies are safe.”

The nurses knew in advance July would be busy. The hospital offers a program that allows expectant moms to register ahead of time. In May the coordinator of that program told them a baby boom was coming to Casper.

Local obstetricians also warned the nurses to prepare for a higher-than-normal number of births. Those same doctors expect the trend to continue this month, Bower said.

“I don’t know if we will hit this number again, but we have been warned to be ready,” she said. “It’s not going to slow down for a while.”

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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