DOVER-FOXCROFT — January is expected to be a banner month for the delivery of babies at Mayo Regional Hospital.
Hospital officials say a total of 22 women are scheduled to deliver babies next month, which represents about a 33 percent increase in births over the same month in previous years.
In comparison, the hospital delivered a total of 150 babies in 1999, said Tom Lizotte, the hospital’s marketing and development director.
The increase in births at the hospital could be because there are more physicians on the staff than in previous years.
“We do have more doctors that offer obstetrics services than we have in the past,” Lizotte said Thursday. The hospital official said he didn’t think the expectant mothers had timed the conceptions in April to coincide with New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day; rather, it just happened.
As in hospitals throughout the country, the first baby to arrive in the year 2000 will receive an assortment of gifts donated by local merchants, businesses and organizations.
And should a Mayo baby be born first in the state, the respective parents can expect a good deal of publicity. Mayo will have its clocks synchronized with other hospitals’ clocks to officially record the first birth in the state.
Not only will the parents of the first baby of the new millennium born at the Dover-Foxcroft facility be treated with gifts, Lizotte said, but also the parents of the last baby born in 1999. The gift baskets include gift certificates for local restaurants and quilts donated by the Little Red Schoolhouse and Mayo Regional Hospital Auxiliary. Lizotte said the gifts in each basket have a combined value of $200 to $300.
No changes are anticipated in staffing to accommodate the births next month because the anticipated due dates are scattered throughout the month, according to Lizotte. He said two or three women are expected to deliver the first week in January.
Lizotte said it was very unusual for the hospital to have its two labor and delivery rooms occupied at the same time. He said the hospital and its affiliated physicians do not induce labor unless it is medically warranted.
While the millennium is perhaps the top story in the world, nothing symbolizes a new year more than the first baby born in it, Lizotte said.
“This is the companion good news story,” he said.