Gurgles, giggles and gifts were present as dozens of babies gathered outside the Elk Valley Hospital on Saturday afternoon to celebrate the births of babies born in 2013.
The event was the first of its kind, and guests enjoyed a picnic as well as an on-site expo where local businesses presented their products and services. Door prizes were also handed out to a few lucky attendees.
Leala Tomlinson, event organizer and registered nurse at the hospital, explained, “We’re just trying to promote our obstetrical services at the hospital. We want people to know what it’s about here and what obstetrics means for Fernie.”
The obstetrics program, a health science program that deals with pregnancy and childbirth, at the Elk Valley Hospital services up to 15,000 patients across Elko, Jaffrey, Sparwood and Elkford. Last year alone they delivered over 100 babies.
“We just want people to know we appreciate them having their baby here,” said Tomlinson, who gave birth to her own son Tripp at the hospital 15 months ago.
“It’s a special place to have your baby and we hope to do it again next year for our 2014 babies,” said Tomlinson.
Virginia Robinson, a general practitioner with obstetrics training (GPOB), agreed. “We think everyone who comes here has a great experience and we wanted an opportunity to share those experiences,” said Robinson.
She added, “We have five women who do maternity [here]. All over the country, family doctors are giving up maternity because of the nights. So the fact that we have five physicians who do maternity and are happy to get that call at three in the morning is great.”