Whether it was peri-pandemic lockdowns that led to a proliferation of newborns, or simply serendipity, one thing’s for sure — maternity staff at the hospital in Trail delivered 54 more babies in 2021 than the year previous.
Birth rate statistics from Interior Health show 236 babies were born at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) in 2021, compared to 182 the year previous.
This is a 30 per cent bump in babies born at KBRH, which compared to 2020, is the largest percentage increase across the entire Interior Health (IH) region.
There is no data available on where the parents of babies born at the Trail hospital actually reside.
Nevertheless, provincial statistics show: 165 babies were born toTrail parents last year compared to 146 in 2020; Castlegar births were at 118 compared to 99 the year previous; Nelson welcomed 191 babies compared to 178 the year previous; Grand Forks had a birth rate of 37 compared to 46 in 2020; and Arrow Lakes welcomed 25 babies compared to 19 the year previous.
IH announced the 2021 birth rates earlier this week. The health authority reports that 6,136 newborns arrived last year region-wide, which is an increase of 489 births or a nine-per-cent increase over 2020.
“Interior Health is happily welcoming our tiniest patients to the world as communities grow throughout the region,” said IH president and CEO, Susan Brown. “I would like to congratulate all of the families who welcomed newborns last year and thank our dedicated maternity teams for ensuring the highest quality of care for these little ones and their families.”
Kelowna General Hospital saw the largest number increase with 197 more babies being born in 2021 compared to the previous year.
In 2021, IH saw an average of 511 births per month, while in 2020, the average was 471 births per month.