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643 babies set a one-month birth records in July at Hoag

In July, the labor and delivery unit of Newport Beach’s Hoag Hospital was a busy place.

It was so packed, in fact, that Hoag officials say last month broke a record for babies born in a one-month period: 643.

The milestone far surpasses the previous one, set in September, of 583 births.

“This was a surprise month,” said Dr. Allyson Brooks, executive medical director of Hoag’s Women’s Health Institute. “More and more women are choosing to have their babies here, and we’re happy about that.”

Included within July’s birth numbers are 15 sets of twins and one set of triplets, said Hoag spokeswoman Heidi Pallares.

Even the number of twins Hoag usually sees each month — about 10 — was surpassed.

Hoag officials believe the increase was due to variety of factors.

One happened to be more babies being born in July instead of their respective due dates in June or August.

They also attribute it to Hoag’s expanding footprint, with additional centers throughout Orange County, particularly in Irvine.

According to Brooks, 47% of expectant mothers in Irvine have their babies at Newport’s Hoag.

The labor and delivery unit is within the Sue and Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion, which opened in 2005.

Since that time, 56,360 babies have been born there, Pallares said.

The unit has 18 delivery rooms, three Caesarean section operating rooms, a four-room OB emergency department for pregnant women, a three-bed triage area and 52 postpartum, private rooms for mothers and their families.

In July, “We were bursting at the seams,” Brooks said. “It was a full house … [the staff] were working very, very hard and very diligently.”

The staff celebrated the milestone with a small reception in late July.

“It was, ‘Wow. We can’t believe we had the 600th baby here,'” Brooks said.

And how is August shaping up, numbers-wise?

“There are fewer deliveries,” Brooks said, “but it’s a very busy month and historically has been.”