Sandy Brings Baby Boom in NJ [AUDIO]
It's been nine months since Superstorm Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore, and now, hospitals in Monmouth and Ocean counties are seeing a 20 to 30 percent spike in the number of babies being born.
"This year, we were expecting to deliver 4,700 babies. In July, we normally would deliver about 371 babies," said Dr. Robert Graebe, chairman and program director of Monmouth Medical Center's obstetrics and gynecology department. "Now, we are anticipating more than 500 births this month which can be attributed to the prolonged period of time the Sandy effect had to the communities around us."
"This was more than just a blackout. People were displaced from their homes and power was out for a week or two in some locations. Because of this, the August numbers will likely go up as well. By the end of the year, we could see well over 5,000 births at Monmouth Medical Center."
The hospital did receive warning and was able to prepare.
"Shortly after the storm, we started to see an increase in pregnancy tests, an increase in ultrasounds, an increase in doctors saying that they were starting to see peaks of that due date," said Dr. Graebe.
Hospitals do not have exact numbers at this point yet, but Jersey Shore University Medical Center, Neptune and Ocean Medical Center in Brick are among the hospitals expecting a 20 percent increase in births. Monmouth Medical Center is expecting a 25 percent spike.
"After this peak in births, we expect to see the numbers go back to normal and get closer to what we were originally doing. It will literally become a bump in the stats at that point," said Dr. Graebe.