Hurricane Irene and the Stork?
Who among us hasn’t forgotten an important date in our lives? Anniversary, birthday, you name it – they do sometimes slip from our memory accidentally or occasionally on purpose! That will not be the case for 12 babies just born in Wilmington, North Carolina at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. The winds of hurricane Irene were not all that was howling because it was during this storm that the births took place! According to the hospital this was more than 30 percent higher than usual.
As the storm pushed in, there were new Moms pushing as well! Concerns about the weather, the potential for power outages, and other typical concerns that come to mind during a hurricane were quickly replaced by a more pressing obligation for these Moms. It takes quite a lot to be distracted away from a hurricane the size and strength of Irene, but then 12 new babies coming along at the same time as the storm – that would surely get everyone’s attention focused away from winds and high tides!
One mother pointed out “I think as soon as I was able to leave the labor and delivery room, there was another woman right behind me.”
This is not the first time that the question of a connection between the sudden drop in barometric pressure (such as a hurricane) and the on-set of labor in pregnant women has come about. A study done at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital of Houston TX, which was conducted in 1997, certainly supports this occurrence. Authored by King EA; Fleschler RG; Cohen SM, this non-experimental, retrospective study showed a significant increase in the on-set of labor in the 24 hours after a sudden drop in barometric pressure versus the 24 hour period before the drop. That being said, somehow it seems unlikely that the mothers who delivered during Hurricane Irene at New Hanover Regional Medical Center will look back on this day and think of the barometric pressure!
It seems equally unlikely that these birthdays, which were certainly quite dramatic, will ever be forgotten! We can only wonder how many new baby girls might be named Irene this year.