Baby boom on busiest day ever at city maternity unit
IT was a day that went down in history for the nurses, mums and midwives at the City Hospital.
Almost immediately after a shift handover, the babies started to flow.
The first to arrive was at 6.40am and from that point onwards there was no rest for the ten midwives who were on shift on Friday, March 1, as they delivered nine babies in 120 minutes – the highest influx of babies in the shortest amount of time the unit has ever had to cope with.
"As soon as one was delivered, another mum was coming through the doors," said maternity matron Julia Gudgeon.
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"I am so proud of the way we all handled it. It really was an achievement and the whole team were outstanding."
All nine mums who gave birth within those two hours had natural births.
And at one point – between 7.30am and 8am – no fewer than four babies were safely delivered.
"It really was all hands on deck," said Ms Gudgeon.
"But we kept calm and everyone worked efficiently," she said.
One of the mums giving birth that morning was Laura Purdy, 22, of Eastwood, and she said she could tell the ward was busy.
"The midwives were in and out and I could hear in the background the bells that they have going off all the time," she said.
"But it didn't bother me, I just got on with it."
In one year, roughly 10,000 babies are born at both of the city's maternity units – at the City Hospital and Queen's Medical Centre.
However, figures for the past three years show a slight fall in the birth rate, from 10,126 babies in 2010 to 9,928 births for last year.