Brimbank baby boom

Olive Hawkins and her new baby girl. Photo by Damjan Janevski. 230380_03

Tara Murray

Western Health’s Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital broke its own record for most babies born in a day – twice in one week.

Last Tuesday, there were 29 babies – including a set of twins – born at the hospital.

Just as staff were catching their breath from a busy day, another 30 babies, including one set of twins, entered the world on Thursday.

Acting divisional director for Women’s and Children’s at Western Health, Wendy Watson said there was an overall trend of increasing numbers of births.

She believes the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns are a likely contributing factor.

“The high number of births is a trend we’re seeing across Victoria, but it’s particularly busy in Melbourne’s west,” Ms Watson said.

“We’ve never been busier at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s.

“I want to thank our amazing medical, midwifery and nursing teams. They are working incredibly hard providing care for women and their families across the west.”

The hospital’s previous record for babies born on one day was 27.

Ms Watson said the number of births at the hospital in February 2021 was up almost 20 per cent on February last year.

Up to last Thursday, the hospital had delivered 157 babies in seven days.

Olive Hawkins gave birth to her third child, a daughter, at the hospital last Tuesday.

“I was told I would be induced two days later,” she said. “I had to get induced due to pre-eclampsia.

“I was then told … they would do it on Tuesday. Four and half hours later it was happening.“

Ms Hawkins’ daughter was born at 37 weeks, weighing 2.3 kilograms.

Ms Hawkins said she didn’t know she was expecting until she was 30 weeks pregnant, which didn’t leave her much time to prepare for her first daughter.

She said it was “crazy“ to hear that so many babies had been born on the same day.

“It’s a busy time,” she said.

“No wonder they rushed me down. We’re lucky to be here.“