Bubs galore for Stanthorpe

ALL the goo's and gaa's, dribbling faces and wet nappies have come and gone from Stanthorpe Hospital in 2011, with 136 bundles of joy delivered in the 12 months from January 1 last year.

Equating to a little over 2.6 babies a week, Granite Belt couples have clearly been keeping busy restocking the region's population.

The figure is down two on 2010, when 138 babies were born, but Stanthorpe Hospital director of nursing Lesley Shannon believes the average has stayed the same.

"We mainly get between 130 and 150, with the mean being 140, it's been that way for some time now," she said.

"There are a few ladies due early in the new year."

With the general world-wide consensus being that more girls are born than boys, it was a slight shock to see Stanthorpe Hospital deliver 80 boys compared with 56 girls, a trend that is usually reversed.

"It's usually two to one to the girls," Mrs Shannon said.

"It's different this year because in February we had 10 boys born and only three girls and in May there were 11 boys born ad only five girls."

Mrs Shannon said she expects the average to remain this year, though 2012 is looking like it will be a busy one.

"April looks busy next year, but we're never truly confident about how many we'll get," she said.

"There are often a lot of women who just turn up to have their baby.

"Also, many women will undertake the prenatal checks here but have their baby elsewhere."

The hospital underwent several changes in 2011, including the restructuring of its midwifery model.

Mrs Shannon said with the changes came a better connection between the hospital and new mothers.

She said she was impressed with the response to the new system.

"What we've done over the past 12 months is changes the midwifery model," she said.

"They're now in the position to have increased exposure to the mothers.

"After birth they telephone every mother and offer a home visit.

"I think as mothers come to understand the model and trust the midwives it's been really good.

"The primary focus is to provide that home support in the first six weeks."

So until New Year's Eve in 12 months time we will never know how many new Granite Belt residents we will have welcomed. To all the new mothers out there, and mothers-to-be, good luck

Stanthorpe Border Post

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