Mini baby boom on the Grand Strand? Hurricane Florence may be to blame

A Grand Strand hospital is preparing for a mini baby boom this month — nine months after Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas.

Tidelands Health Women’s Center said in a release the number of women on track to deliver in June is 52 percent higher than in May and 39 percent higher than July, and they may just be Hurricane Florence babies.

“I saw it on paper, and the distinction was very obvious,” Dr. Xaviera Carter, an OB-GYN physician at Tidelands Health Women’s Center, said in a release. “It may be purely coincidental, but I do think these are Hurricane Florence babies.”

The hospital said it’s also 45 percent higher than August and 23 percent higher than September, the peak delivery month of the year. Twice as many babies are expected to be delivered this month than were delivered in June 2018, according to the hospital, which has women’s center locations in Myrtle Beach and Georgetown.

“When you have an anticipated natural disaster or when you have people facing the possibility of getting negatively affected in a major way, it brings people together,” Carter said. “People just appreciate each other more.”

Hurricane Florence made landfall Sept. 14 as a Category 1. The storm dumped rain over the Carolinas, causing days of major flooding to the area.

The Sun News Reporter Hannah Strong is passionate about making the world better through what she reports and writes. Strong, who is a Pawleys Island native, is quick to jump on breaking news, profiles stories about people in the community and obituaries. Strong has won four S.C. Press Association first-place awards, including one for enterprise reporting after riding along with police during a homicide. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Winthrop University.