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Baby boomlet hits VVH

Donna Daniels
Staff Writer

Blame it on the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks or blame it on the Bossa Nova, but there is a baby boom going on in Garfield County this summer, indeed nationally, since the attacks.

About 70 babies are due in July at Valley View Hospital, a 34 percent increase over July 2001, said Susan Scott, director of perinatal services at the hospital, and who also oversees the Family Birth Place there.

“That’s big for us,” Scott said. “And August is filling up.”

Compared to last year’s count, Valley View is delivering more babies overall.

In fact, said Scott, the hospital broke its own record for deliveries in May with 71 babies in May and 52 in June.

In 2001, 48 babies were delivered in May, 48 in June and 52 in July, Scott said.

Since Sept. 11, hospitals across America have been gearing up for the baby boom. But the boom will be especially felt in New York City where people watched in horror as two airlines slammed into the two towers of the World Trade Center.

In a recent story on MSNBC.com, New York doctors confirmed they were seeing a summer baby boom.

“This was kind of a wake-up call for people,” said Dr. Paul Kastell, an obstetrician at Long Island College Hospital in New York City. “They saw the towers burning. And when they got home they said, “You know, it’s never going to be the right time. We should start now.'”

Kastell said beginning in mid-June his own deliveries grew 20 to 25 percent compared with last summer.

But this summer’s baby boomlet could also be due to a growing population, nationwide and here in Glenwood Springs.

As Scott pointed out, “9/11 doesn’t explain our May month. Glenwood Springs is growing. Of course, we need a bigger hospital.”

Scott’s wish will be met. Valley View’s major expansion that will take place over the next few years will include a new and larger Family Birth Place.


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