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11 labour and delivery unit nurses at 1 Edmonton hospital pregnant at the same time

Baby boom for labour and delivery nurses at Edmonton hospital
WATCH ABOVE: At the Royal Alexandra Hospital's labour and delivery unit, there's a baby boom. But it's not just the patients; 14 nurses on the unit are expecting or have just had their babies. Sarah Ryan reports.

Their job is to assist in the birth of other people’s babies, but the roles are about to be reversed for 11 nurses at one Edmonton hospital.

There are currently 11 pregnant registered nurses on the Labour and Delivery Unit 4East at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

READ MORE: It’s a girl: Edmonton’s 2020 New Year’s baby born at Grey Nuns Community Hospital

RN MacKenzie Arnett said this number is actually lower than it was just a month ago. In December, the unit had 14 pregnant RNs, three of whom have since given birth.

“From Dec. 28, 2019 to June 2020 — so a span of six months — we will have 14 babies born to RNs on our unit!” Arnett said.

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Arnett has worked at the hospital for nearly four years and said they’ve never had this many women pregnant at the same time; the most she can recall is three.

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“In the last year to two years, there was a huge wave of us that just got married and are expecting our first child, I guess, is how it worked out,” she said.

Arnett sent Global News a picture of all of the pregnant nurses they could rally together at one given time.

“As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to get shift workers all together in one spot,” she said.

Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020.
Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020. Courtesy, MacKenzie Arnett

Pictured above from left to right:

  • Kristy Guidinger – Due Feb. 7
  • Kate Saunderson – Due Feb. 18
  • Alycia Lobay – Due March 4
  • Taryn Hallett – Due March 16
  • Erin Anderson – Due April 3
  • MacKenzie Arnett – Due May 3
  • Jennifer Boudreau – Due June 9
  • Darcelle Heemeryck – Due June 10

To top it all off, this will be the first child for 11 of the 14 women. Arnett said the support has been wonderful.

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“We have a group chat of all of us together. Any questions we have, it’s been great, lots of support for all the pregnancy symptoms that we’ve been hearing about for all these years but haven’t experienced,” Arnett said.

“It’ll be good support for one another and when we’re all off on mat leave we can meet and work through everything together,” added RN Kari Scinski, who has worked at the hospital for nearly 12 years. “Everybody is good at supporting and helping and sharing where they’re at in their pregnancies.”

READ MORE: ‘Beyond lucky’: Woman with uterus transplant gives birth to ‘miracle’ baby

Unit manager Sharla Garnider said they currently have about 100 to 120 nurses on staff, meaning the 14 pregnancies account for more than 10 per cent of the nursing staff. Luckily, they were able to anticipate the maternity leaves and have already hired 10 staff members who are trained and ready to take over when the women have their babies.

The Royal Alexandra Hospital is located in north Edmonton. More than 7,500 babies are born every year at the Royal Alex’s Lois Hole Hospital for Women.

Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020.
Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020. Courtesy, MacKenzie Arnett
Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020.
Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020. Courtesy, MacKenzie Arnett
Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020.
Eight of the 11 pregnant registered nurses working on the Labour and Delivery Unit at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in January 2020. Courtesy, MacKenzie Arnett