RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Baby fever is real in the Richmond area with 2021 marking a record-breaking number of births for some local hospitals, including HCA’s Henrico Doctors’ Hospital and Chippenham Hospital.
Pryor Green with HCA said 2021 marked the highest number of babies born on record in more than 45 years at Henrico Doctors Hospital. The same record was broken at Chippenham.
The Quitiquit family’s baby Shep is one of many new infants born at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital. Parents Jennifer and Tony Quitiquit said after the pandemic delayed plans to get pregnant for some time.
“Thankfully we were able to get pregnant with him through IVF and had a successful pregnancy in spite of COVID,” the mom of three said.
Here are recent yearly birth numbers for the hospital, according to Green:
- 2021: 4,490 births, and is the new record year with 6 out 12 months breaking new monthly records.
- 2020: 4,168 births
- 2019: 4,286 births
- 2018: 4,319 births — this was the previous record year
If they didn’t break records, other HCA hospitals still saw the number of births increase in 2021, according to Green.
“Our community is growing despite the challenges we’ve faced,” said Canaan Stage, who helps run the Mother-infant unit at Henrico Doctors’ Hospital.
Stage said his staff welcomed nearly 4,500 new faces in 2021, which is 320 more than 2020, or an eight percent leap.
“The turning point for us this year was really when we hit September and we had over 450 births for that month alone,” he said. That’s an average of15 babies born a day.
“It was very busy,” said Labor and Delivery nurse Rachel Walker.
When 8News spoke to her early Tuesday afternoon, she said she’d already helped deliver nine babies that day. Walker thinks the momentum is continuing into 2022.
“My favorite is the dads’ expression and how they act once the baby comes out,” she said. “That never gets old for me. They’re just so happy and it’s a really special time.”