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RAPID ASSESSMENT

About Amy Umble:
Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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A young and growing community

Pictured with Tim Tobin, Spotsylvania Regional's chief executive, are labor, delivery and postpartum nurses Catherine Squires, Gabrielle Wortman, Lynn Branham, Laura Ploeger and Lisa Hough (from left).

The staff at the Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center held a celebration yesterday to mark the hospital’s 100th birth. Actually, by the time they cut the cake and raised the balloons, they had 102 births. (Another mom-to-be was in labor while the party was under way, so it’s probably 103 by now.) The first baby was born there on May 24, so Spotsylvania’s average has been  less than one infant per day.

The hospital has been slowly building its maternity service. The number of births was steady in July and August, then doubled in September, said Carol Owen, senior leader for women’s and children’s services. The hospital started monthly labor-and-delivery tours in July. Its classes for new moms, things like labor basics, baby basics and breastfeeding, started this week.

Seeing the nursery at Spotsylvania is a reminder that the region is young and growing. The median age for Fredericksburg is below the state average, and the young families here continue to have babies.

Stafford Hospital has hosted 358 births this year, through Sept. 30, or about 1.3 babies per day. “The month of September was the largest with 57 births,” said Debbie McInnis, hospital spokeswoman.

Mary Washington, of course, is the mother ship. It has hosted 2,528 births this year, through Sept. 30,  or about 9.3 per day, said Debbie Morris, spokeswoman.

The total for the region: a dozen babies a day.

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