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What Caused North Carolina Baby Boom the Night of Hurricane Irene?


"I'm just going to tell her she was born during a very exciting time. . ."

The Wilmington, North Carolina, hospital is wondering just this question: What happened nine months before Irene? On the night Hurricane Irene swept through the state, the winds must have brought along the stork: births in New Hanover Regional Medical Center were 30 to 40 percent higher than usual.

According to the local ABC News station (via Technorati), quoted one of the new mothers as saying that as soon as she was able to leave the delivery room, another woman was brought right in.  A total of 12 babies were born during the hurricane.

Watch the report here:

Technorati observes that this isn't the first time extreme weather conditions and on-set of labor have gone hand-in-hand:

A study done at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital of Houston TX, which was conducted in 1997, certainly supports this occurrence. Authored by King EA; Fleschler RG; Cohen SM, this non-experimental, retrospective study showed a significant increase in the on-set of labor in the 24 hours after a sudden drop in barometric pressure versus the 24 hour period before the drop.

So while some may wonder what happened in North Carolina nine months before Hurricane Irene, perhaps the more important question is how many Irene's will be born nine months from now? ABC reported that some of the mothers who gave birth to girls Saturday night are considering Irene as a middle name.

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