Baby boom explodes in Truckee and Tahoe areas | SierraSun.com
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Baby boom explodes in Truckee and Tahoe areas

ABHUTCHISON, Sierra Sun

They’re in line at the grocery store. They’re at the coffee shop. They’re at the post office. They’re in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. They seem to be everywhere, and it’s a good thing they’re irresistibly cute.

The Truckee-Tahoe area is experiencing its first baby boom in eight years, which helps explain why we all seem to be making googley-eyes at bundled-up babies a little more than usual.

With an expected number of 444 births at Tahoe Forest Hospital by the end of the year 2000, the local birthrate is up 17 percent from last year, the first significant rise in births since the early 1990s, according to hospital delivery records. Last year ended with a total of 369 births. At the end of October this year, there were already a total of 376 deliveries.

“We broke an all-time record for this hospital with 50 deliveries in the month of September,” said Ann Delforge, director of inpatient services for the hospital. She estimates about half of the deliveries are Truckee babies and the other half are from the North Shore and surrounding areas.

Delforge said the numbers began showing a noticeable increase in June, but the last two months have been the highest this year.

“The September-October rush we would probably put down to Y2K celebrations,” she said. “But also, the community is increasing. It tends to go in spurts and there seems to be another generation popping up.”

The increase of new babies in our community can be seen in two bustling, full-capacity Baby and Me classes taught by Chris Miller, sponsored by the Tahoe-Truckee Children’s Collaborative and Sierra Nevada Children’s Services.

“We have people that are on a waiting list to take her class,” said Ruth Hall, director of Sierra Nevada Children’s Services. “The baby boom is overwhelming our ability to provide classes.”

Local agencies are responding to this baby boom by making classes like Baby and Me and other programs available to parents. Delforge said that for the first time this year, the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District had a line out the front door of the community center to sign up for interactive parent/infant classes.

The Baby and Me classes serve as a tremendous learning tool and social outlet for new or recent mothers. Miller helps guide parents through various interactive activities with their babies geared to help stimulate both neurological growth and motor skills important for infants.

“During the first year of life, the experiences your baby has helps wire the brain,” Miller told her class Tuesday morning. “There’s a whole lot of important work going on in this first year.”

On Tuesday morning, 14 babies graduated from their eight-week Baby and Me session, and parents in the group were already making plans to continue getting together as a group now that the class has ended.

The parents in that class seem very aware of all of the new babies in Truckee.

“I was wondering if it was just me, but all of my friends were having babies at the same time,” said Anna Klovstead, mother of 4-month-old Sidney. “I’m a new mom. I never learned nursery rhymes and things like that. This class has been so valuable for me … There were changes in my confidence level, too. Now when (Sidney) gets fussy, I have some tricks in my back pocket.”

First-time parents Crash and Rachel Davis, of 3-month-old Cooper, are organizing a regular play group now that the class has ended.

“This has just been so great for both of us, especially being first-time parents. We’ve learned so much,” Rachel Davis said, agreeing there seems to be an increase of parents with newborns in the community.

“It seems like everyone I know is having kids,” Crash Davis said.

Delforge said deliveries so far in 2000 have run the gamut in terms of how old the mothers are. She said there are signs of an increased number of women in their 40s having babies.

“It’s a wider age range of people having babies,” she said, adding it does seem like there are a significant number of first time moms, especially in the last few months.

Tahoe Forest Hospital births

Year Deliveries

1990 411

1991 440

1992 450

1993 410

1994 412

1995 359

1996 370

1997 375

1998 386

1999 369

2000 444*

*projected


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