AUDREY Emmeline Bailey wasn't just a nice surprise for Dougal and Cass Bailey on November 19, as her entry into the world also had midwives and nurses cheering.
The 9lb 14oz (4479g) bundle of joy was the 300th baby born at the Emerald Hospital this year, breaking last year's number of 243 births.
With still one month to go before the end of the year, maternity staff at the hospital have no idea what record will be set by December 31.
Audrey's mum and dad, Dougal and Cass, said they were thrilled with the arrival of their first daughter, and big brother Hugo was equally joyous to meet his little sister.
"We were actually really surprised they deliver that many babies in Emerald," Cass said.
"The midwives were absolutely fantastic."
The Baileys have lived in Emerald for about seven years and both agreed the service and care at the hospital was excellent.
"We were very happy with the care we received and our midwife Kerry was wonderful," Cass said.
"It was also good to know we didn't have to travel. It's nice to be at home."
Maternity Nurse Unit manager Donna Milburn said the record was a nice surprise, despite the evacuation of pregnant women in January due to flooding.
"The maternity staff in Emerald are very focused on delivering a great service to pending and new mothers in the area. I believe this is one of the reasons the number of births have been so high this year," Ms Milburn said.
"Our midwives have also had advanced clinical education and training. This has allowed the maternity unit to develop a model of care that ensures pregnant women can see the same midwife during pregnancy, labour and birth."
The maternity unit has recorded a considerable increase in the number of pregnant women utilising all aspects of services offered.
"There has been a 70% increase in the number of visits by pregnant women," Ms Milburn said.
The average number of babies born at the hospital from February to November was about 25 per month, but the peak was in September with 34 births.
Here's what women who birthed at Emerald Hospital last year had to say:
100% said the cleanliness in the labour and birth rooms did not need improvement
100% said the privacy in the labour and birth rooms did not need improvement
100% would recommend this facility to a friend
96% did not feel rushed or hurried by their care providers during labour
86% said their care providers respected their decisions 'all of the time'
83% said their care providers treated them with kindness and understanding 'all of the time'
66% said they were cared for 'very well'
Source: Queensland Mums To Be www.havingababy.org.au
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