Must be something in the water…

Or actually, something in the air (well, the barometric pressure, anyway). Our unit was absolutely slammed last night. I had 2 deliveries myself, and two admissions, which is a lot of work, especially given all the paperwork and charting and documenting required. We had 11 deliveries total over the course of our 12 hour shift; that’s almost a baby an hour, and is doubly impressive given that we only have 10 LDRs (labor/delivery/recovery rooms) on our unit. And of course, this wasn’t counting our antepartum patients, or the women who didn’t deliver. It was a madhouse. Every room was full. Women were pacing in the hallways. We could barely get the rooms cleaned fast enough before the next admission was walking in.

More remarkable, though, is the fact that this wasn’t just a freak occurence at a single hospital in NYC. I spoke with a friend who is a nurse in L&D at another hospital, and her unit was overflowing as well. I’d say we are witnessing some of the untold effects of Hurricane Katrina. The weather here is humid and rainy now as the hurricane dissipates up the coast. The same storm that’s ripping the roofs off of buildings in Louisiana and Mississipi is merely dumping rain on those of us up north, but even so, the drop in the barometer has been enough to send women into labor. Surely there’s research on this phenomenon? Or is this just a truth that midwives and nurses know? I’ve never had a chance to investigate. All I know is that whenever there’s a change in the weather, womens’ water is breaking all over the city. Full moons are the same way. Even if there isn’t any research to back all of this up, it’s certainly something I’ve observed with my own two eyes, which makes me tend to believe it as true.

Pretty neat, huh? Yeah, I think so too. The cyclical nature of labor and birth has always amazed me.

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One Comment

  1. Megan
    Posted September 1, 2005 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    It wouldn’t surprise in the least if some study proved a correlation — in fact, it would surprise me if it didn’t. I’ve bred horses, and there’s a MUCH higher incidence of mares foaling when rain is expected or occuring, even during heavy thunderstorms. Someone said it had to to with the dropping air pressure doing something to the pressure exerted on the womb, which made little sense to me; personally, I’d guess it has more to do with a biological throwback involving the blood and afterbirth washing away and therefore not attracting predators. But who knows? It would make sense for similar things to apply to humans, I guess.

    Nature and birth. More involved than people like to admit ;)

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