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There were 571 babies born last year at hospitals in Steinbach and Ste. Anne. That is six more than in 2016.

Janet Chobotar is Director of Health Services for Ste. Anne Hospital and Vita and District General Hospital. She says in 2017 there were 422 babies born in Steinbach and another 149 in Ste. Anne. Chobotar says births in Steinbach saw a decrease last year, while Ste. Anne saw a substantial increase.

Chobotar says they don't know the exact reason for that trend but she does have a theory. She notes the surgical program at Bethesda was closed for an extended period of time last year. During that time, surgeries were moved to Ste. Anne. As a result, any mothers requiring a c-section, or cesarean section needed to go to Ste. Anne during that time.

Steinbach's total of 422 births marks at least the third straight year for a decline. In 2016 there were 449, in 2015 there were 476 and in 2014 there were 482.

Meanwhile, Liam was the most popular name given to baby boys in Steinbach last year, while the most common name for a girl was Emily, Emma and Sophia.

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