Region experiencing a baby boom

ST GEORGE and Sutherland hospitals are in the midst of a baby boom.

Births at St George have increased 25 per cent in the past 10 years and 40 per cent at Sutherland.

In the past 11 months alone, the hospitals have recorded more than 3600 births.

In 2011, the region recorded an overall 6375 births, with the birth rate steadily increasing to 1.87 babies for each woman.

Kate Camac, the acting co-director of midwifery at St George and Sutherland hospitals, said the current economic climate had done little to deter people from having children.

She said having access to culturally-specific care, home visits and home births made the hospitals attractive for expectant parents.

St George was the first public hospital in NSW to have a state-funded home birth centre, and Ms Camac said there were plans to establish a home birth centre at Sutherland Hospital by the end of next year.

"The child and family health services are a lot more integrated with the hospital now," Ms Camac said.

"Now, 90 per cent of all women who have a baby born at St George and Sutherland, and indeed in the Sydney metropolitan area, are offered a home visit within two weeks."

More than 2400 babies were born at St George Hospital this year and more than 1200 at Sutherland.

Rockdale area had most births in 2011 (1677) with Sutherland Shire west second (1515).

It also recorded the most births in 2010 (1567 out of 6304) and in 2009 (1562 out of 6322).

Of the babies born at St George and Sutherland hospitals, there were 36 sets of twins, including seven sets born in January.

TOP 10 BABY NAMES 

Most popular names in NSW:

BOYS: William, Lucas, Lachlan, Ethan, Oliver, Jack, Noah, Thomas, Joshua and Cooper.

GIRLS:  Chloe, Ruby, Olivia, Isabella, Mia, Charlotte, Sophie, Sienna, Ava and Amelia.

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