Hospitals Busy With Blizzard Of Babies

Baby Boom? Doctors Say Number Of Deliveries Up

Just nine months after the blizzards of 2006 paralyzed the metro area and stranded hundreds of thousands of people inside their homes, Denver's seeing a baby boom.

The first storm hit the metro area on Dec. 21, and the second moved through on Dec. 29. Many people were stuck at home for quite a few days.

Sky Ridge Medical Center said it is looking at a 20 percent increase in deliveries for the month of October. Dr. Steve Grover thinks the boom comes in response to the 61 days of consecutive snow on the ground.

"The snow stayed on the ground throughout December, January and into February. My theory is that the cabin fever didn't set in until a little bit later," said Grover.

Several other hospitals are reporting similar baby booms. Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville has printed blizzard baby T-shirts for all the newborns.

While some couples say they snuggled as the snow piled up, one researcher has found that baby booms after such events don't always occur as expected. S. Philip Morgan of Duke University said papers reported a baby boom after a 1977 blackout in New York but research showed otherwise.

However, he said, that power outage may have forced people indoors but it also occurred on a hot day and with no air conditioning, so discomfort may be to blame.

That's the opposite of what couples in the metro area are saying. The 2 feet of snow that piled up trapped many people in their homes and romance apparently blossomed between all the snow shoveling.

It will take about a month or so for researchers to see if Denver experienced a true baby boom that can be linked to those snowy December days.

Doctors and nurses said they had planned for a busy couple of months. The Sky Ridge nursery stocked extra baby beds, which have come in handy.

Grover said he stored up some sleep in August in preparation for the spike in deliveries he anticipated in late September and early October.

A Denver children's boutique has also experienced extra business. The owner of Studio Bini said sales have spiked and she's having a hard time staying stocked.

"We've also been selling a lot of diaper bags and blankets. I'm completely wiped out of blankets. I can't keep up with the blankets," said store owner Linde Schlumbohm.

Sales at Studio Bini are up 6 percent, and items in her newborn section are flying out the door. Schlumbohm said next time, she'll be more prepared.

"I probably would have bought more infant things if I had thought about it," said Schlumbohm.

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