Sarnia hospital experiencing pandemic baby boom

Bluewater Health Maternal Infant Child Unit Interim Manager Melissa Doan says the hospital is experiencing a pandemic baby boom. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Sarnia. October, 2021.

It’s official, Bluewater Health is experiencing a pandemic baby boom at its Sarnia hospital right now.

After three provincial lockdowns, two spanning the first half of 2021, it’s safe to speculate what some partners in Sarnia-Lambton were doing to pass the time.

Maternal Infant Child Unit Interim Manager Melissa Doan said from the start of their fiscal year in April, through to the end of September, they’ve recorded 583 births — 67 more than during the same time period in 2020.

“We are experiencing a bit of a boom,” Doan told Sarnia News Today. “Normally, we have about two births a day. Since April, we’ve had at least 90 births a month and up to the most in September where we had 106 births in one month. Which is a lot. It’s more than two a day!”

Bluewater Health Maternal Infant Child Unit Interim Manager Melissa Doan. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Sarnia. October, 2021.

(Bluewater Health Maternal Infant Child Unit Interim Manager Melissa Doan. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Sarnia. October, 2021.)

Nurses have been seeing a lot of doubles too.

“Since April 1, we’ve had ten sets of twins,” said Doan.

When it comes to gender, the numbers of boy and girl babies are split pretty evenly.

Doan said the community has been very supportive as the number of deliveries increases.

“Originally, we had put out that we required baby knitted hats, and boy did they answer the call for that. So, we have hundreds and hundreds of hats.”

Doan said one woman in particular has been making special gifts and donating them to babies who require additional care.

“Her name is Diane Brown. She began to crochet octopuses. We call them ‘octo-pals’, and she has donated, over the last year, 164, and these octo-pals are given out to the babies that are admitted into the special care nursery here at Bluewater Health.”

Not only are the octo-pals cute, Doan said they serve a purpose.

“They have little tentacles and the babies love them and hang onto them, just like the umbilical cord, inside moms. It adds some comfort to them.”

Bluewater Health Maternal Infant Child Unit Interim Manager Melissa Doan holds octo-pals donated to babies by Diane Brown. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Sarnia. October, 2021.

(Bluewater Health Maternal Infant Child Unit Interim Manager Melissa Doan holds octo-pals donated to babies by Diane Brown. Photo courtesy of Bluewater Health Sarnia. October, 2021.)

Doan said the number of births don’t appear to be slowing down in October.

“I’m actually looking forward to seeing the numbers come on the 31st of the month, but we have had more births so far, half way, than we have had last month. So, we’re climbing.”