Chica the dog greets his newest playmate, Taj Haradin, center, outside Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs on Friday. Taj's mother, Leslie was discharged from the hospital on Friday after giving birth to Taj on Halloween. YVMC set a record for births in October.

Photo by Brian Ray

Chica the dog greets his newest playmate, Taj Haradin, center, outside Yampa Valley Medical Center in Steamboat Springs on Friday. Taj's mother, Leslie was discharged from the hospital on Friday after giving birth to Taj on Halloween. YVMC set a record for births in October.

YVMC sets births record

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— Yampa Valley Medical Center recorded 59 births in October, surpassing the previous record of 49.

That record was set in August 2001 and tied in July 2006. Christine McKelvie, public relations director for the hospital, said there is likely no definitive answer as to why October brought such a baby boom to Northwest Colorado.

"People always wonder what was happening approximately nine months before," McKelvie said Friday. "I don't think anyone can explain why that month was such a magnet. But it is hugely significant to break the record by that much. We got national publicity (about the old record) back in 2001."

October's boom continues a trend at the hospital. In 2006, the hospital set a record with 430 births in one year. There is an outside chance a new record could be set in 2007 - there have been 360 newborns through October. In 2006, there were 366 deliveries through October.

Of the 59 newborns last month, 31 were boys and 28 were girls. There was one set of twins. Dr. James Summers delivered the most babies, with 17. The most popular day for deliveries was Oct. 5, with five births.

"We were all running, all month," said Dr. Mary Bowman, an obstetrician-gynecologist with Yampa Valley Ob/Gyn. "Generally, we deliver approximately a baby a day - so this month, we delivered almost twice what we normally would."

Hospital spokeswoman Riley Polumbus also said the increase could be attributed to many of factors, such as more young families in the area.

Bowman noted that the hospital's coverage area is expanding across Northwest Colorado.

"We have people coming in from a large area now," Bowman said. "I would expect that over time we're going to see more and more of these little flurries. But right now, this was a little busier than we'd expect."

Bowman said fortunately, the hospital has a facility large enough to handle the boom - and more growth is planned. An expansion of the hospital's Family Birth Place is expected to begin in spring 2008.

"Our facility has been accommodating and will continue to accommodate our community in all these areas," Polumbus said. "Our staff is doing an excellent job keeping up with the pace."

Bowman delivered October's 50th baby on Oct. 28. She also said there is no definitive reason for the rush of newborns.

"I'm at a loss," she said. "Except it might have been a cold winter."

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