You'd typically expect to find expectant mothers and newborn babies at a birthing center. But Sanford has a different type of baby boom lately. That's because more nurses than ever before at Sanford's Birth Place are pregnant.
Juliann Ditleuson enjoys helping expecting parents welcome babies into the world. But the registered nurse will soon be on the other side of her chosen career. Ditleuson is expecting her first child in August.
"Having someone tell me what to do will be different in that aspect. I'm usually the one saying, 'change into your gown,'" Ditleuson said.
You might not think it's unusual for a labor and delivery nurse to be pregnant but what is unusual is the number of them at Sanford's Birth Place. Scrubs and baby bumps are all the rage among the staff here. Sixteen nurses are pregnant; another five have already delivered and are on maternity leave.
"This is by far the largest number on maternity leave for our employees in one department," Sanford Birth Place Director Georgia Stern said.
So, is there something in the water at Sanford? That's the running joke but the nurses believe there are actually other reasons for the baby boom.
"I think it gives you a little baby fever because you're around them all the time," Ditleuson said.
"I don't know, people taking vacations? I don't know, summertime," Registered Nurse Karin Rosman said.
"We have a lot of young nurses here. So that's part of it where someone is always pregnant on our floor," Ditleuson said.
Karin Rosman was one of the first in the group to have her baby. Elijah was born on February 13th.
"It's fun to see how he'll have some friends here pretty soon," Rosman said.
Rosman has been enjoying time away from work with her little one but all the baby bumps are causing some bumps in work schedules for management.
"There are challenges when you look at, how do we handle all of those maternity leaves as well as other employees' vacation time?" Stern said.
Still, Stern, along with the nurses, believes this baby boom is good business for the birth place.
"I had a rough pregnancy. Now when working with high-risk mothers I can really put myself in their place and better care for them, I believe," Rosman said.
"A lot of times they ask for your advice. My advice is usually from other patient's experiences, 'this is what I've learned, but I can't say from my own experience.' That will be interesting when I come back from maternity leave to be like 'this is what worked best for me,'" Ditleuson said.
Sanford's Birth Place also set another all-time record last week. On Monday, April 30th, 23 babies were born in just 24 hours.