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Some Eau Claire hospitals see increase in births despite national trends

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - While the CDC Wednesday reported there was a drop in the number of births in the U.S between 2019 and 2020, not every hospital in Eau Claire saw similar trends.

Eau Claire's Mayo Clinic Health System saw 4.6% more births in 2020 from the year before, but attributed that to more people outside of Eau Claire coming into the city to give birth due to the pandemic, with officials saying there was a 1% increase in Mayo's northwest Wisconsin region for births overall.

HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital helped deliver 24% more babies than in 2019. Maria Green, a nurse at Sacred Heart's Women and Infants Center, attributes the number of births at Sacred Heart to its individualized care and maternity onto motherhood program. It's important to note that HSHS Saint Joseph's Hospital in Chippewa Falls moved its women and infants maternity services to Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire during the pandemic. That move was made in August of 2020.

Related Story: HSHS consolidates services to prepare for potential surge in COVID-19 cases in the Chippewa Valley

Green thinks across the U.S., people had some uncertainties with pregnancy at the pandemics start that caused them to hold off.

"It's just a learning process as we did not know how COVID would affect pregnancy and post-pregnancy and delivery, but I think there's a lot more support for women to have more answers now that we've gone through the last year," Green said.

One local hospital did not see an increase in births. Officials at Marshfield Clinic Health System said they saw trends consistent with national data.

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Felicity Bosk

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