As Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville celebrates its centennial anniversary of caring for the community (1923-2023), a quick check of the history books shows a close similarity between Valley Baptist in 2022 and the city of Brownsville in 1860.
Valley Baptist-Brownsville’s labor & delivery team welcomed a whopping 2,217 babies to the world in 2022, nearly matching the city of Brownsville’s estimated population of 2,700 in 1860 – the smallest recorded census for the city since it was founded in 1848, according to records from The Texas Almanac.
Last year’s delivery numbers are staggering, as they surpassed what was already considered a busy 2021, said Miriam Longoria, Valley Baptist-Brownsville’s director of labor & delivery, obstetric operating rooms, and the mother-baby unit.
“We thought that 2021 was definitely a busy year with 1,927 babies delivered,” she said. “However, 2022 truly exceeded our wildest expectations. To top it off, the baby boom of 2022 definitely would appear to be carrying on into 2023, as we have already delivered 37 more babies so far in January than we did at this time last year.”
Longoria, who has spent 18 years – the last four at Valley Baptist-Brownsville – caring for the community’s mothers and newborns, said the work of delivering so many babies is accompanied by a special feeling of pride for her and her team of nurses.
“Valley Baptist has been serving our community for quite literally a century, and it is an honor and a privilege for us to be there at what can be considered the most special time for these mothers and their babies,” she said. “This is their journey and their birth experience, and they have given us the special opportunity to ensure a safe outcome for mom and baby. We are humbled by the opportunity and cannot wait to deliver another century’s worth of Brownsville’s babies.”
That feeling of pride, however, also comes with a unique set of challenges that require commitment and dedication to overcome. From promoting an “all hands on deck” culture in labor & delivery to making sure patient care space is properly utilized to keep mothers and babies comfortable during their stay. Longoria said Valley Baptist-Brownsville’s specialized team of maternity care professionals works hard to provide a safe, high-quality experience for every patient.
“Our jobs certainly can require some creativity at times,” she said. “Most importantly, we have had to find ways to optimize space to make sure we have enough beds and equipment to safely and comfortably care for our patients. Labor can often be very unpredictable, so it also requires flexibility of the staff and leadership as well when it comes to scheduling.
“Staff throughout the entire hospital have played a role in caring for our mothers and their babies in some fashion during our baby boom, and it has truly been very heartwarming to see everyone come together for our community.”
“What sets us apart is our couplet care model,” she said. “We strive to keep mom and baby together as much as possible. We also approach every delivery with an open mind, and collaborate with our physicians to make sure that each mother’s delivery wishes are accommodated, within reason, with the safety of mom and baby in mind.
“We most definitely want everyone’s birth experience to be as memorable as possible, and we strive to make those cherished memories. I look forward to maintaining the trust of our community and delivering upon our promise to provide a safe and memorable birth experience.”