Hospitals register bumper crop of Christmas babies

There were cries of joy when Lehlohonolo Mogorosi was born at Natalspruit Hospital in Ekurhuleni as the clock struck midnight on Christmas day.

There were cries of joy when Lehlohonolo Mogorosi was born at Natalspruit Hospital in Ekurhuleni as the clock struck midnight on Christmas day.

He was the first of 14 babies - eight boys and six girls - born at the hospital on the 2007th birthday of Christ.

His mother, Miriam Mogorosi of Vosloorus, said: "Only God can see how happy I am."

The 31-year-old mother named her second-born Lehlohonolo, Sesotho for luck, because "I have been praying to get a boy and God has answered my prayers".

She said she had not told the baby's father that she had given birth because she wanted to surprise him.

Annah Lesia, the hospital's acting manager, said: "We did not induce or do anything to the mother, it was just luck."

Obstetrician Dr Modise Keikelame said: "I feel honoured that I delivered a Christmas baby."

Later, the happy mother realised that she was in the same ward where Sophie Mathibela, the mother of South Africa's most famous Siamese twins Mpho and Mphonyana, was admitted in 1984.

"I know about the twins but I did not know I was in the same ward where their mother was and where they were born in 1984," she said.

At Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital a whopping 63 babies were born on Christmas day.

The first baby, Simphiwe Majola, was born 10 minutes after midnight to 15-year-old Gugulethu of Orlando East, Soweto.

The arrival of little Simphiwe, who slept peacefully in his mother's arms amid the singing and dancing of the staff, was a surprise to his mother.

"I didn't expect him to come on Christmas day. I am happy and I wish to see him through all the special moments in his life," she said.

Assistant director of the nursing unit, Nonzukiso Skosana, said the number of Christmas babies had increased dramatically from last year when 46 babies were born on Christmas day. The tally included two sets of twins.

In contrast to the animation at Chris Hani-Baragwanath, Lesedi Private Hospital in Soweto was calm and peaceful as only two babies were born.

Thembi and Justice Maluleke became parents to their third son Sandile, the first baby born at the hospital at 7am.

"We were hoping for a baby girl but we are still happy, especially because he was born on such a special day," said Justice.

Baby Bohlale Lephallo was the first of 20 Christmas babies, including a set of twins, at Leratong Hospital when he was born at 1:05am.

At Coronation Hospital in Johannesburg nine babies were born between midnight and 8am.

Anna Tswagae of Slovo Park informal settlement was the first to give birth at 1am to a baby girl. The 17-year-old mother had not named her child when Sowetan visited her.

"I am very happy and I thank God for such a beautiful baby," said Tswagae.

Megan Sunn of Noordgesig became the second Christmas mother at the hospital giving birth to a baby girl, Braelyn, by Caesarean section.

"I am happy because my aunt was also born on Christmas day, so she wished me to have my baby today," said Sunn.

The first boy baby was born to 19-year-old Phumla Ngumla of Diepsloot at 2am.

The only babies born on Christmas day at the Johannesburg Hospital were born to Shaifa Mia at 12:41am and Sekyopi Keotshepile at 4:11am.

"These ladies just did not want to have babies today," joked one of the nurses.

Two big Durban hospitals, Addington and King Edward VII, registered more than 15 Christmas babies this year. The first baby boy, Esona, was born at Addington hospital to Ntombifuthi Ndadane, 37, from Umzimkhulu. She said she was very happy that her child shared his date of birth with Jesus.

When Dorcas Mkhize, 31, from KwaMashu gave birth by Caesarian section to her healthy baby boy Asanda at 47 minutes after midnight, she provided King Edward VII Hospital with its first Christmas baby.

Jubilant Mkhize said she was happy that she got a baby boy.

"I'm in pain but happy that my child is alive and healthy. And he is lucky to share his date of birth with that of the Almighty," she said.

As usual, staff members at both hospitals' labour wards, anxiously and patiently waited to deliver the first Christmas baby in the hope of beating other institutions to the post.

Mpumalanga province produced a total of 142 Christmas babies, two of them a set of twins who were delivered at Amajuba Hospital in Volksrus. The total was made up of 78 females and 64 males, according to provincial health spokesman Mpho Gabashane.

Provincial hospitals in the Pretoria area also produced a good number of healthy children with 11 delivered at the Pretoria Academic Hospital while at the Kolafong Hospital near Atteridgeville nine babies were born and six were born at Mamelodi Hospital.

Figures from the George Mukhari and Jubilee hospitals were not available at the time of going to press.

Among Christmas day babies born in Limpopo, four were by girls aged 15. The first baby was born at two minutes past midnight at the Elim Hospital in the Vembe district. The first baby born last year was delivered at the same hospital at one minute past midnight.

The hospital with the highest number of babies born was Philadelphia in the Sekhukhuni district which registered a total of 28 babies on Christmas day.

Mankweng Hospital in Turfloop registered a record of four pairs of twins. Unfortunately the fourth pair died soon after birth.

Four young mothers aged 15 also broke the provincial record by giving birth to healthy babies on Christmas at the Seshego, Malamulele, Dilokong and FH Odendal hospitals. in the Waterberg district.

The province registered a whooping 305 babies born on Christmas this year.