Hospital shocked by baby boom

WHETHER there is something in the water or just romance in the air, a baby boom is inundating the maternity block at one of Suffolk's biggest hospitals.

WHETHER there is something in the water or just romance in the air, a baby boom is inundating the maternity block at one of Suffolk's biggest hospitals.

And staff at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, are expecting even more new mothers over the next few months as the massive surge in the number of new infants looks set to get even bigger.

But the reasons behind this mass influx - prenatal numbers suggest a 100% increase on last year's figures over the next few months - remain a mystery for staff and parents alike.

Now staff at the 36-bed maternity ward are preparing for what is expected to be a fairly frantic few months.


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Carolyn Newman, midwifery ward manager, said: “We are projecting, from now onwards, an extra 150 to 200 deliveries per month.

“Staff think it might have something to do with all the new homes being built in the area but this is only a guess.

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“It is also possible we might be picking up some of the Haverhill deliveries which usually go to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

“I have worked in maternity wards for more than 20 years and I have never known anything like this before.”

Head of midwifery Patricia Davis said: “We have forecast this increase and now it is beginning to hit.

“I believe it is because of the huge housing growth in and around Bury.

“This is a very exciting time for us and at the moment we can cope with the boom.

“But if it carries on, which we expect it to, the trust will have to look at increasing the capacity.”

Current targets suggest the hospital's maternity ward could face a staggering 300 births a month for the rest of the year - compared to the average 150 deliveries.

While many proud parents were unaware they were helping to produce the latest Suffolk baby-boom, they had a range of theories on the subject.

Mother-of-two Lynsey Gathercole , of Brandon, said: “I think more people are moving into the area while many are waiting for a break in their careers before having a baby.

“There might not be one reason - it could just be that people have had a good summer or excellent Christmas party.”

Susannah Henson, who gave birth to her second child yesterday morning, said: “I don't really know why there has been such a baby boom. I think it might just be a coincidence as most people try for a baby only when it is right for them.”

The predictions for the rest of the year came after a host of births at the hospital on New Year's Day when nine babies - eight boys and one girl - were born.

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