Health & Medicine

14 labor nurses pregnant this year at Sutter Medical, in fourth consecutive baby bonanza

These 14 Sutter Medical Center nurses were pregnant at the same time

14 nurses at Sutter Medical Center had overlapping pregnancies in 2019. The staff named the occurrence "babyquake."
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14 nurses at Sutter Medical Center had overlapping pregnancies in 2019. The staff named the occurrence "babyquake."

They’re not the first labor and delivery unit to show off their simultaneous pregnancies, but nurses at Sutter Medical Center in Sacramento say they’ve upped the ante in the baby game.

The midtown hospital is experiencing a staff baby boom for its fourth year in a row. This time, 10 nurses on the labor and delivery team at the Sacramento hospital are pregnant at the same time, and four have already delivered since January.

Each year for the past four years, at least nine labor and delivery nurses have been pregnant at the same time.

The nurses said they saw a viral Facebook post from a Maine hospital picturing its nine pregnant nurses, and reached out to local news organizations to break the news of their own baby boom at a media event Tuesday

“We saw the post from Maine and we were like, ‘We’ve got that beat,’” said Jennifer Genovese, who is due June 30.

Audra Danner, who is expecting a boy on April 12, said she wasn’t surprised by the baby boom. In 2016 and 2017, 13 nurses were pregnant at the same time, and nine were pregnant at the same time in 2018.

Given their full range of experiences in the delivery ward, “You think we’d be scared to be pregnant,” Danner said. “But here we are, bearing the storm.”

Genovese and Danner are members of a group of five Sutter nurses who were pregnant together during the 2017 baby boom and are now pregnant together again.

“Now we’re opposite,” said Danner, referring to Genovese. “We were 12 weeks apart last pregnancy, but she was ahead. Now I’m 12 weeks ahead of her.”

Jennifer Elze, who gave birth to a baby girl on March 9, was one of the first women on the staff to announce her pregnancy.

“It was like every time I came to work someone new was saying they were pregnant,” she said.

Elze and Genovese both have 2-year-old daughters, and they like to joke about their similarities: “Our 2-year-olds are Lyla and Isla and we are Jennifer and Jennifer.” Genovese is also expecting a daughter again.

The rest of the staff have been nothing but supportive of their co-workers, according to nursing director Kristi Svee-Stranberg. She said they have been helping by taking extra shifts and reorganizing their schedules so the mothers can take the time off they need.

“This is their time to enjoy and explore everything about motherhood,” Svee-Stranberg said. “Any time off they need, we support as a management team.”

Another local hospital, the UC Davis Children’s Hospital, is experiencing its own “birthquake.” Four women in the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy department and five women on the labor and delivery team are pregnant at the same time.

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Four nurses in the Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department at the UC Davis Children’s Hospital are pregnant at the same time. UC Davis Children's Hospital

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