Sandringham Hospital prepared for baby boom

SDMH
23/12/2008

Despite a recent baby boom, Sandringham Hospital has proved it can cope with increased demand.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal Melbourne's Bayside region experienced a baby boom this year with women giving birth to 1.89 babies, up from 1.69 in 2003. In 2007, the fertility rate was 1.78 in Victoria.

Executive Director, Ms Marguerite Abbott said the number of babies born at the hospital had increased from 651 in 2002 to more than 1000 a year in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

"The hospital is well equipped and resourced to support an increase in birth rate with funding for maternity services meeting this demand," Ms Abbott said.

Sandringham Hospital has services to support mothers and babies, including a breast feeding support clinic and a special care nursery.

The hospital's special care nursery recently celebrated its first birthday, and more than 400 babies have received care in the nursery, reducing the need to transfer babies to larger tertiary hospitals.

Thanks to the generosity of the local community, Bendigo Bank Highett recently funded the purchase of a new foetal monitor to be used in Sandringham Hospital's Maternity Ward.

State Government spokesman, Michael Sinclair said Victoria was experiencing a "once-in-a-generation baby boom", with more than 73,000 births in the state last year.