Good news from Central Alberta’s biggest maternity ward: it’s experiencing a little bit of a baby bump.
Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre saw 2,629 births in 2012, compared with 2,558 in 2011. That translates into a 2.7 per cent rise in births.
Debbie Leitch, director for maternal child services at the hospital, said on Thursday that the birth numbers show there’s steady growth.
Mothers-to-be mainly come from Red Deer, but some would also be referred from Rocky Mountain House, Drumheller and other smaller communities through the central region.
“The increase is generally what we anticipate,” said Leitch. “It shows that our community is continuing to grow and that we’re continuing to respond to the needs of Central Zone.”
Leitch said the hospital delivers an average of eight babies a day.
Usually, 30 per cent of those babies are delivered by caesarean section.
“We’re the one facility that does have obstetricians in-house so we’re the consulting house for all of Central Zone,” said Leitch.
“The majority of (the hospitals) have family physicians that provide maternity care, unless there are risks. Then they are referred to an obstetrician.”
A total of 19 hospitals provide maternity services in Central Zone.