PRMC births down in 2009

Freedom New Mexico

Gift baskets were ready and there was no shortage of expecting mothers in the community. But as the sun fell on the first day of 2010, there was still no first baby of the year.

It was close, said Ellen Augustine, interim women’s and pediatrics’ manager for Plains Regional Medical Center.

One woman labored into the late hours Thursday night, but gave birth just shy of midnight.

“We were like 14 minutes short, but I don’t think mom wanted to wait,” she said with a chuckle. “Babies come when they want.”

It has been a busy week, Augustine said, with several births, however all was quiet in the labor and delivery ward at PRMC New Years Day.

It’s not unusual for the first baby of the year to come later in the day or even on the second day of the year, she said.

Last year births were down 18 from 2008, she said, with 1,285 babies born at PRMC, coming in close to 2007’s 1,281 deliveries.

There were five sets of twins born in 2009.

Augustine said a changed mission at Cannon Air Force Base is expected to increase delivery numbers.

Hospital staff and volunteers were prepared Friday in anticipation of the first birth of the year.

Augustine said staff pooled gift cards they received as holiday gifts from hospital corporate owners Presbyterian Healthcare Services. They also pitched in for gift baskets to present the first baby when it makes its debut.

And, hospital volunteers donated a gift bag for the special delivery.

Complete with rattles, accessories, bath items, clothing, blankets, diapers and, “all kinds of things you would need for a baby,” Augustine said, adding the gifts are waiting … along with the hospital staff.