NEW BORNS: New data shows a steady rise in births at Gladstone Hospital.
NEW BORNS: New data shows a steady rise in births at Gladstone Hospital.

How many babies were born since the Mater closed

BIRTHS in Gladstone are on the rise with almost 600 babies born in the last financial year.

Despite the closure of the Mater hospital in October last year, the increase has been steady as previous years.

In 2018/19 there were 583 births, 310 girls and 273 boys.

Meanwhile in 2017/18 there were 569 births, 288 girls and 281 boys. In the previous year the total was 520, 249 girls and 271 boys.

Caesareans are also on the rise with 132 births by C-section in 2018/19, 113 in 2017/18 and 111 in 2016/17.

Acting Executive Director Gladstone-Banana, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Services Andrew Jarvis said the hospital had refurbished Maternity and Women’s Ward and hired more midwives to support services.

“The numbers show a steady growth that has been maintained even with the closure of Mater obstetric services,” Mr Jarvis said.

The hospital’s nursery opened in May and has been well utilised, caring for seven babies last month.

Gladstone’s Midwifery Group Practice also expanded, which enabled midwives to provide continuity of care from antenatal through to post-natal.

“The opening of our nursery has also allowed for babies to come home sooner from higher level facilities,” Mr Jarvis said.