Michigan hospital baby boom: ‘It’s in the water’

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — There’s a baby boom happening in Grand Rapids in a place that’s already known to see a lot of babies.

More than 30 women who work at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital’s labor and delivery unit have given or will give birth between September of last year and September of this year.

“I think we’re at 32 and obviously, people are still coming out and saying that they’re having babies,” said nurse Megan Huizinga.

They say it takes a village to raise a child and they’re making their own village at the Grand Rapids hospital.

“It’s in the water. It was just kind of funny how everything started. One week someone would say ‘oh I’m expecting’ and then the next week, another person,” said nurse Kaleigh Herin.

Therese Alt, manager of labor and delivery at the Butterworth campus, says she doesn’t remember a time when there have been so many employees in one unit expecting.

“They’re getting our birth volumes up. We really like that,” Alt said.

An Associated Press article published in March told the story of nine pregnant labor and delivery nurses in Maine along with 11 emergency nurses. That inspired the West Michigan women to share their story.

“One of our staff members felt really passionate about bringing this to light. There was a group of nurses from Maine, and we felt like we could beat that because we like to be the best here,” Alt said while laughing.

Alt says they’ll continue to be fully staffed to help all their patients and make sure each employee gets their full maternity leave.

“I think we know more than anybody how important that maternal and infant bond is,” Alt said.

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