Nearly 1 dozen nurses in maternity unit are pregnant within the same year

·3 min read

The maternity unit of a Pennsylvania hospital is experiencing its own baby boom.

Nearly a dozen nurses in the family maternity and neonatal intensive care units at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, are giving birth this year.

Six nurses have already given birth and five more are due between now and November, according to the hospital.

“We do babies," nurse manager Marguerite Fritsch said in a statement. “That’s what we do."

PHOTO: Nearly one dozen nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Penn., are pregnant or have recently given birth. (WellSpan Health)
PHOTO: Nearly one dozen nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Penn., are pregnant or have recently given birth. (WellSpan Health)

Danielle McBride, a clinical nurse, was the first of her colleagues to announce her pregnancy in June 2021.

McBride, who gave birth in February to a daughter named Skylar, described what it was like to see her pregnancy announcement be the first of many among her colleagues.

"We kept joking that it would go in threes and then the three just multiplied by three and then by three," she told "Good Morning America."

Angela Myers, a nurse aide who is 21 weeks pregnant, told "GMA" it became a game in the unit to guess who would announce a pregnancy.

"We were taking guesses on who is going to be next," she said. "It's crazy how it all fell into place and all of us were so excited for each other."

PHOTO: Nearly one dozen nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Penn., are pregnant or have recently given birth. (WellSpan Health)
PHOTO: Nearly one dozen nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Penn., are pregnant or have recently given birth. (WellSpan Health)

The 11 colleagues, who have either recently given birth or are currently pregnant, work on a team of just 70 people. As a result, traveling nurses and nurses who were previously working part-time have stepped in to help, according to Lauren DiPiano, a clinical nurse who gave birth two months ago.

"It just goes to show how much of a family we are," she told "GMA," describing the nurses in the unit as a "sisterhood."

"People are picking up shifts when people are off. People that are in different stages of life and older have been really picking up the slack, and it's so fun for us to learn from them," DiPiano said.

So far, all but one of the nurses who have given birth have done so in the same maternity unit where they work.

"It's important to shout out our midwives and doctors because we work very closely with them too and they're always taking care of us," DiPiano said.

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Each nurse has been celebrated individually with a baby shower, which Myers organizes.

The babies who have already been born have had play dates together and many will attend the same schools as they get older, according to the nurses.

"We're genuinely so excited for each other," DiPiano said. "Motherhood, there's nothing greater than that."

PHOTO: Nearly one dozen nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Penn., are pregnant or have recently given birth. (WellSpan Health)
PHOTO: Nearly one dozen nurses at WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital in Ephrata, Penn., are pregnant or have recently given birth. (WellSpan Health)

And while the joke around the hospital has been that there must be something in the water, medical experts say baby booms are nothing more than a fun coincidence.

"More likely, I think it's people who are around the same age, going through the same thing, and they see people getting pregnant and being able to handle it," Dr. Joanne Stone, director of maternal-fetal medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital, told "GMA" in 2019, after a series of similar instances at workplaces across the country. "It's more of an atmospheric thing than there's any medical reason for it."

Nearly 1 dozen nurses in maternity unit are pregnant within the same year originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com