Dickinson hospital navigates baby boom

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Brandi Olette is one of dozens of new moms delivering at CHI St. Alexius Health in Dickinson this summer.

The hospital had a record breaking 77 births last month, and they expect more than 80 in June.

"It doesn't make much sense in that as a the oil business has downturn, we are seeing an increase in the number of patients that are delivering," said Dr. Thomas Arnold, OB/GYN

Dr. Arnold connects the increase to families who invested and decided to stay in Dickinson after the downturn.

The staff is working extra hours to cover the boom. Dr. Arnold says nurses are also cross trained for the nursery, delivery rooms and postpartum.

"You have time periods when you are bursting at the seams, and other times when it is relatively slow. We have been able to accommodate up to this point those upswings," said Dr. Arnold.

The layout of the new hospital, which opened in 2014 is aiding with the increase, as well.

Obstetrics Director Deb Bolin says delivery rooms have bigger spaces, new equipment, and whirlpools to make delivery a bit more comfortable for the increasing number of expecting mothers.

"We added on one LDR, what we call one labor delivery recovery room. We had three over there. We have four here. We have seven post partum rooms. Much bigger rooms, more accommodating for the families to be here with the mothers and the babies," said Bolin.

Bolin says the number of births last month was the highest since the oil boom started.