Tuesday, 4 December 2012
Portland is going through a baby boom with five newborns at PDH within a week.

The births included two caesarean sections, the first carried out at PDH for several years.

A further 17 babies are booked for delivery at PDH during December.

There has been a big upswing in the number of local births after the resumption of obstetric services on October 1 with the appointment of obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Ghazala Irshad.

A locum anaesthetist was based at PDH for the week to allow the caesarean sections to take place.

Maternity Services Manager Marree Adams said the new babies and their mums were appreciating the resumed local service.

“Over the past couple of years we have been averaging about five babies per month, so to have five in a week is great,” she said.

The rush of babies started at 5am on Thursday November 22 and continued until 8pm on Thursday November 29. Three boys and two girls were born and all are doing well.

Ms Adams said PDH had worked hard to resume the obstetrics service after a prolonged period where mothers were transferred to Warrnambool for deliveries.

“People are pleased that we are again able to operate this service and we anticipate numbers will continue to grow as confidence continues to build,” she said.

There were 50 births at PDH in 2011 and a similar number are expected in 2012.

“We expect that numbers will increase next year and we will be back up to full capacity,” Ms Adams said.

The hospital is continuing its campaign to recruit a resident anaesthetist.

STORY BY Rick Bain

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