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Hospitals Prepare For Rush of Y2K Babies

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RALEIGH — Doctors will not be standing in the delivery room with a stopwatch on New Year's Eve. Their goal is to deliver healthy babies, not to race to deliver the firstborn of the new millennium. However, hospitals are making plans just in case they have a new millennium rush.

George Armistead was supposed to arrive on New Year's Day but he popped into the world Tuesday, and his father, Matt, is not disappointed.

"I would rather have the tax deduction," Matt said. "I think the chances of getting a tax deduction are better than winning a truck load of diapers or something like that."

Kathy Pickens' baby is due on New Year's Day, but she says she was not trying to have the first baby of the new millennium.

"It is exciting as days go on, and I still haven't had the baby yet," Pickens said. "It's kind of like, maybe it will be on the first."

AtWakeMed, extra cribs have been ordered, and additional staff will be on call on New Year's Eve.

"We have some hats that we plan to give to the millennium baby, boy or girl," Kathryn Roekle, birthplace manager at WakeMed. "I'm sure there are people that it would be very exciting to have that first millennium baby,"

"I'm sure there are hospitals all over the world looking forward to that, but as of right now, we aren't doing anything to promote that or plan that."

Rex Hospitalexpects a higher number of births on the holiday, but they are leaving it up to Mother Nature.

"We are not scheduling people to come in for an induction just because they want to have their baby on New Year's Day," said Susan Cloaninger, Director of Women and Children's Services. "It does have to be medically necessary for us to do any interventions."

Local hospitals will be giving babies born on New Year's Day some special gifts. As far as snagging the distinction of being the first baby born in the year 2000, it could happen anywhere in the world.

There could be plenty of gifts for the first baby born in the year 2000. Many radio stations around the world have Y2K baby promotions going on.

Promised treasures for the Y2K baby include a year's supply of diapers and a college education.

In Nebraska, a radio and a local car dealer will give away a family car to a lucky couple who gives birth on the first day of January.


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