Oh, babies: Omaha hospital caring for 5 sets of triplets

OMAHA, Neb. — Staff members at a Nebraska hospital have their hands full.

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The neonatal intensive care unit at Omaha’s Methodist Women’s Hospital has five sets of triplets, setting a record for the facility. The previous record at the hospital was three sets, the Omaha World-Herald reported.

The seven girls and eight boys were born between Nov. 29 and Jan. 8, the newspaper reported. All 15 babies are doing well, according to Chinyere Oarhe, a neonatologist at the hospital.

“The parents are happy. We are happy,” Oarhe told the World-Herald. “It’s an amazing thing. It’s just a reflection of the good work the whole team does at Methodist Women’s Hospital. We are really grateful and excited.”

According to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3,400 sets of triplets were born in the United States in 2018.

Molly and Otis Seals welcomed their triplets on Nov. 29, the newspaper reported. The other sets of triplets were born to Janae and Blake Frazee, Macayla and Curtis Pribnow, Kinlea and Brett Adkins, and Lillian Romero and Richard Lipprand, according to the World-Herald.

“You just don’t see triplets very often,” Molly Seals told the newspaper. “It’s crazy how it all happened at once.”

Birth rates in the United States have been declining for several years. With families having to stay shuttered because of the coronavirus pandemic, that could change. In Indianapolis, for example, deliveries at Community Health Network have increased by 30% compared to last January, WABC reported.

Julia Kearney, an Indianapolis obstetrician, told the television station that doctors in the area are expecting 70% more newborns by March.

Jackie Bartosh, the managing nurse at the MultiCare Deaconess Family Birth Center in Spokane, Washington, told KREM-TV that her facility is not seeing an increase in new mothers because of the quarantine. Bartosh does concede, however, that the pandemic may be the cause for a rise in teen pregnancies.

“Kids are not going to school. They’re home unattended,” Bartosh told the television station. “There’s not as many activities that can preoccupy their time.”

The NICU at the Omaha hospital can accommodate up to 60 babies at a time, Oarhe told the World-Herald.

Some hospitals and midwife groups, such as Brigham and Women’s in Boston and Brooklyn Homebirth Midwifery in New York, have reported no notable change in the numbers of patients expecting in December and January, The Washington Post reported. Other places, such as Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, have seen about a 10% decrease. The Birthing Gently collective, which has locations in New York City, Boston and Charlotte, North Carolina, has reported a 30% increase over 2019 in clients due in December and January, the newspaper reported.

So it is not certain whether “coronials” are going to be a trend or not.

“The only thing we get in this pandemic is time with your immediate family,” Kearney told WABC.

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