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‘Richmond has been busy with babies’: VCU Health sets new monthly record in number of deliveries

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 11:27 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 19, 2021 at 5:48 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - VCU Health set a new record in the number of babies delivered in one month!

In October, 247 little boys and girls were born at the downtown Richmond location.

“I can say I’m not surprised; we have felt the busyness in a very good way,” said Dr. Emily Barrows, M.D., an OB/GYN with VCU Health. “It’s been very exciting in labor and delivery recently.

That number surpassed a VCU Health record from 2013. It is also a 4% increase in births from Oct. 2020 and a nearly 15% increase from Sept. 2021.

“The city of Richmond has been busy with babies,” Barrows said.

However, doctors like Barrows understand pregnancy in the middle of a pandemic can be concerning.

It is why the health system has made adjustments over the last 18 months. Each expecting mom is allowed one visitor per 24 hours, plus their doula or midwife if they are part of the birth plan.

“We need to protect our patients and each other from COVID, but we also need to protect them from a birth experience that’s traumatic or upsetting to them,” Barrows said. “So, balancing those two things has been important to us.”

Meanwhile, other hospital systems are also prepared to handle a rise in deliveries.

While Bon Secours could not provide specific numbers at this time, a spokeswoman said they experience fluctuations in the number of deliveries.

Messages to HCA Healthcare were not immediately returned.

While the new bundles of joy get used to their surroundings, doctors also take the time to answer questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and pregnancy.

“I’m very happy to report that a lot of my pregnant patients decided to go ahead and get vaccinated,” Barrows said. “I always try to recommend it to them, dissuade their fears.”

Barrows added she informs expecting moms about the various studies from other areas of the U.S. and world to help calm any fears.

“If you look at all those women vaccinated and all those women who have not been vaccinated, there are no differences in things like preterm labor, no differences in terms of bad effects of pregnancy, their birth experience - the mom, the baby, everyone does really well,” she said.

While doctors are encouraging pregnant mothers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 - if they choose to get vaccinated while breastfeeding, the mothers can still pass along antibodies to their children.

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