Hospital prepares for baby bump in July


Martha’s Vineyard Hospital is preparing for a “baby bump.” Hospital officials confirmed that 29 babies are due in July.

Tim Walsh, hospital chief executive officer, said the main concern is that the hospital be prepared to handle the births. He said the hospital has contingency plans and would use the intensive care unit if the number of births exceeds the capacity of the four-room maternity unit.

Carol Bardwell, chief nurse, said the hospital averages about 150 births annually. Three years ago it hit a high of 180. “We’ve never had this many in one month,” she said. In anticipation, the hospital has put an additional person on the staff schedule 24/7 in July.

Ms. Bardwell said the new hospital design provides for flexible use of the patient rooms. Women who are close to discharge, she said. would be cared for in the ICU.

As to why the bump, Ms. Bardwell said she could provide no explanation. “It really is an anomaly,” she said.

Mr. Walsh said he could not remember a time during his ten-year tenure that the hospital had more than four births at one time. Asked for an explanation of the sudden increase, Mr. Walsh said, “Find out what happened nine months ago.”

A check of the local headlines last November shows no power outages or periods of bad weather that might have kept couples indoors.