For the fourth consecutive year, a central Iowa hospital has broken its own record for the most babies born at a single Iowa hospital. On average, Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines had 14 births a day, every single day in 2009.
For the year, hospital spokeswoman Kate Westercamp says they welcomed 5,066 new Iowans into the world. “We had a lot of mulitiples in 2009,” Westercamp says. “We saw our first set of quadruplets in ten years born here at Mercy. We had nine sets of triplets and 133 sets of twins.” She says Jackson was the most popular boys’ name while Emma was the most popular for girls.
“Our busiest month ever was in September with 473 babies born,” Westercamp says, while the number-two month was May with 464. December and January are usually among the slowest months for births, but she says it’s evidently a busy time for Iowa’s wanna-be parents — evidenced by the big boost in birth numbers nine months later in September.
“We always look and see if there was a lot of snowstorms or a blizzard or an ice storm,” Westercamp says. “We circle that date on our calendars and see if it actually holds true.” Given the two big snowstorms Iowa had this past December, Westercamp says she’s already betting on a very busy September 2010. She attributes the four straight years of record birth numbers to a new family birthing center that opened at Mercy in 2006.