In the News ˙ Jan 09, 2018

Over 1,000 babies born on New Year's Day in Canada

Over 1,000 babies born on New Year's Day in Canada

If newly released projections are accurate, more than 1,000 Canadian families rang in 2018 with bouncing bundles of joy in the wee hours of Jan. 1.

Approximately 1,062 babies were born on New Year's Day inside of the country, the United Nation's Children's Fund estimated in a recent report. With around 385,800 babies globally, the total in Canada accounts for approximately 0.27 percent of the world's newborn New Year babies.

Two Toronto babies born at virtually same time
Toronto can lay claim to the city in Canada where the very first of Canada's 2018 babies were delivered.  According to the Canadian Press, St. Michael's Hospital and Humber River Hospital announced via Twitter that newborns came into the world just as midnight struck.

James Wysotski, spokesperson for St. Michael's Hospital, said a 7-pound, 11-ounce baby boy was born to Hiengiwe Khoza.

"At the stroke of midnight, (they) look down, toes just came out, with fireworks going off outside the window," Wysotski relayed to the Canadian Press by telephone.

Humber River Hospital didn't provide details on the babies' weight, but noted twins were born within seconds of each other, a boy and a girl.

Meanwhile, in Montreal, Maxine was born to Miriam Oviedo, also within the seconds of 12:00 a.m.

"While everybody is counting for New Year's Eve, for the New Year, the nurse is telling me to push," Oveido told CBC News.

She added that baby Maxine was scheduled to arrive on Jan. 4, but noted her unexpectedly early arrival makes for a great belated birthday present, as Oveido's birthday was on Dec. 31.

The government in British Columbia said a hospital in Surrey was home to the province's first newborn baby in 2018. She was delivered just nine seconds after midnight, The Canadian Press reported.

50 percent of New Year's Day newborns came from 9 countries
At 36 million, Canada's population represents approximately 0.5 percent of the world's, and the babies born on Jan. 1 in Canada accounted for 0.27 percent. UNICEF noted that around 50 percent of New Year's Day births were on nine countries: India (69,070), China (44,760), Nigeria (20,210), Pakistan (14,910), Indonesia (13,370), United States (11,280) Democratic Republic of the Congo (9,400), Ethiopia (9,020) and Bangladesh (8,370). China and India are the two countries in the world that have populations above 1 billion, with the U.S. the third-largest country at 323 million, according to the most recent Census.

David Morley, UNICEF Canada president and CEO, noted that UNICEF's mission is to ensure that every child is born as healthy as possible.

"This New Year, UNICEF's resolution is to help give every child more than an hour, more than a day, more than a month - more than survival," Morley explained. "We call on governments and partners to join the fight to save millions of children's lives by providing proven, low-cost solutions."

UNICEF noted that while tremendous progress has been made in improving the mortality rate among newborns - the number of children worldwide who don't make it past their fifth birthday has been cut in half - there's plenty of room for improvement. Specifically, 46 percent of all premature deaths among children affect babies when they're less than a month old.

Morley further stated there needs to greater health care parity among countries.

"We are now entering the era when all the world's newborns should have the opportunity to see the 22nd century, but unfortunately, nearly half of the children born this year likely won't," Morley said. "A child born in Canada in January 2018 is most likely to live to 2101, while a child from Somalia would be unlikely to live beyond 2075."