Mid-April baby boom unexplained

Timaru Hospital's maternity midwives had an exceptionally busy week in April.

From April 16-20 more than twice the average number of babies were delivered at Jean Todd. But hospital management says there does not appear to be any specific reason for the spike.

In any five day period about eight or nine babies are born at the hospital but during that week the total reached an incredible 20.

"The average number of births at Timaru Hospital each month is usually very steady across the year," says hospital secondary services general manager Christine Nolan.

"Traditionally the months of January and September have been busy months, but this has levelled off in recent years, both in South Canterbury and nationally."

Because midwives see their patients in the early stages of pregnancy the hospital can predict when their busy times will be.

"There is always enough time to plan ahead to manage the demand, although babies and their due delivery date do not always neatly coincide. We were able to plan ahead for the higher than usual number of births experienced in mid April."