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Nalani O’Brien is First Baby of 2019

Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) staff welcomed the first baby of 2019 just after midnight with the arrival of Nalani O’Brien. Born at 12:32 a.m. on January 1, Nalani weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measured 19.5 inches. She is the first child of Chanel Canada.

Thousands of babies are born annually at AVH, and the cycle begins anew each January with the celebration of the first birth of the year.

As the community’s first baby of 2019, Nalani and her mother were given a large gift basket provided by the AVH Auxiliary that included a variety of baby items, such as an infant car seat, blankets, clothes, shoes, supplies, crib accessories and stuffed animals. Founded in 1957, the Auxiliary is a group of volunteers dedicated to raising funds through the hospital gift shops, thrift shop, bake sale and other seasonal sales events.

Tens of thousands of Antelope Valley residents have been brought into the world at AVH since its doors opened in 1955. In fact, more than 4,600 newborns were delivered at AVH’s Women and Infants Pavilion in the past year alone.

The Women and Infants Pavilion, AVH’s spacious maternity care facility, houses a complete array of obstetrical and newborn services. It features 39 private "Couplet Care" rooms that are furnished with special beds and bassinets so that mother and baby can stay in the same room until they go home. The facility is also home to the area’s only neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to care for our region’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients.

The hospital has had a history of excellence in maternity care. Last year Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross named AVH a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers are nationally designated hospitals that show expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community. The hospital was named a Breast Milk Depot in 2017, allowing nursing mothers to drop-off their donated breast milk to be used by fragile newborns in the NICU.

Four years ago AVH was designated a Baby-Friendly Birth Facility, which means that the hospital has met the gold standard in maternity care operations. AVH also has been acknowledged for its outstanding maternity services by receiving the Healthgrades® 5-Star Maternity Care Excellence Award. This award recognizes hospitals that provide consistent high-quality care for women and their babies during pregnancy, delivery and the first few days after delivery.

Chanel Canada nurtures her baby girl Nalani O’Brien after the newborn became the Antelope Valley’s first baby of 2019

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