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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:48 PM

OB/GYNs Pulled In Two Directions In Rare Fiscal Cliff / New year Dilemma



12/31/2012 AP -

Expect your morning paper or favorite news program to feature the "first baby born in 2013" tomorrow, complete with gushing parents and maternity staff. But don't dig too far into the story. The "first baby born" story has long become a journalistic filler story, in the company of bus plunges and the world's oldest man or woman dying. Readers have figured out that those two stories run every couple of weeks or months.

It has become so reliable a story, in fact, that stories long deemed apocryphal about "slow down, we have thirty more seconds 'till midnight" have, in a sense been true, and a reflection on the American obsession with the pursuit of celebrity. Before the advent of national news that reflected the same fascination with what had previously been local stories, your morning paper would have the news of little Julie who was born at one of your nearby hospitals at, say, 1:30 AM.

But no more. As health care has become more competitive, and with parents of the maternity-as-reality-show mindset proliferated, there was what might be called an "accidental conspiracy".

"We'd always get some saying, 'Can we get him out by midnight so we can claim him as a deduction for this year?'" says Dr. Donald Duque, the head of obstetrics of Jefferson Hospital in Philadelpha, "But then we'd start getting calls from local news stations looking for parking permits for their satellite vans and suddenly every woman in labor and her husband want to be on TV. And the administrators let them park, cross their fingers and wink at us. We've been offered bonuses and tips to go to a C-section, while people are making sure are clocks are right to the second."

But this year, obstetricians, unlike their patients, are being pulled in two directions. With the fiscal cliff looming, more couples are keeping an eye on the clock and looking to claim those deductions and credits while they can.

Complicating the "local story as national story" aspect of the "first baby of the year" is, which time zone counts? From a strictly chronological standpoint the first baby born in the Eastern time zone is born before the first baby in the Pacific time zone, so sometimes the story will run with contenders for the title in different time zones, states, or whatever appeals to a local editor fleshing out the national wire stories.

"Oh, we get asked about that one every year," chuckled Dr. Sam Iohuneli, of Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women and Children in Honolulu, "but you know, nobody is watching the clock." According to Dr. Iohuneli, there can sometimes be a round of "who got the time on that?" when filling out the paperwork after the fact, and sometimes a guess might be one year or it might be the other. This is particularly true among the growing number of home births where the information for the birth certificate is provided by a family witness. "From our perspective, we are here to treat our patients and provide public health services, so the details on the birth certificate are not the first priority."

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Reply OB/GYNs Pulled In Two Directions In Rare Fiscal Cliff / New year Dilemma (Original post)
jberryhill Dec 2012 OP
jberryhill Jan 2013 #1

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:05 PM

1. And here they come....

And here they come....

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_22292814/south-bays-first-baby-new-year-was-boy
[quote]The first baby born in the South Bay on New Year's Day popped out at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center at 3 seconds after midnight.

It was a boy. He weighed 8 pounds and measured 20 inches.

The inventory of maternity wards is still continuing, but it appears the South Bay's second child was born at Kaiser Permanente's San Jose hospital at 12:52 a.m. and was a girl.

Regionwide, two babies born were born in separate hospitals at the stroke of midnight.

One baby, whose sex and name have not been released, was born at midnight at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, hospital spokeswoman Carolyn Kemp said.

At the same time, a baby boy was born at Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, according to a nursing supervisor.[/quote]

http://www.freep.com/article/20130101/NEWS05/130101027/First-baby-born-Henry-Ford-Hospital-arrived-12-16-m-
[quote]
First baby born at Henry Ford Hospital arrived at 12:16 a.m.

At Henry Ford Macomb Hospital, the first baby, a girl, was born at 12:43 p.m. At Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, the first baby, a boy, was born at 8:28 a.m. At Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital, the first baby, a girl, was born at 7:20 a.m.[/quote]

http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story/First-baby-of-the-New-Year-born-to-Syracuse-mom/BkepAgBk2k6S5q0bsItQkQ.cspx

[quote]Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- A Syracuse family is celebrating the New Year by welcoming a new member of the family. The first New Year’s baby in Central New York was born at 12:32 Tuesday morning at St. Joseph’s Hospital.[/quote]

http://www.sacbee.com/2013/01/01/5086303/donecker-family-welcomes-first.html

[quote]The 31-year-old mother gave birth to John Mitchell Donecker at 12:20 a.m. at the UC Davis Medical Center. Little John weighed 7 pounds 14 ounces at birth and was 19.5 inches long.[/quote]

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