Hedland delivers baby boom

Danielle RaffaeleNorth West Telegraph
Casey Tregoning and Lennix, 13 weeks with Claire Stephen and baby Isla, 4 weeks
Camera IconCasey Tregoning and Lennix, 13 weeks with Claire Stephen and baby Isla, 4 weeks Credit: Danielle Raffaele/North West Telegraph/Danielle Raffaele

Iron ore is not the only major product in Hedland, with local women topping the fertility charts in the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics baby data.

Hedland is experiencing a baby boom with a fertility rate of 2.91 babies born to each women in South Hedland over the course of their lifetime.

Out of the 33,510 babies born across the State in 2019, 229 babies were born in South Hedland, the most in the State.

Meanwhile, in the City of Karratha, there were 2.38 babies born per women over the same period.

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Topping the WA chart was the small regional Wheatbelt town of Gnowangerup, with 2.97 babies born to each woman over the course of her lifetime.

The State average is 1.77 while the national average is just 1.66.

With many babies conceived during COVID-19 lockdowns last year, those numbers are expected to climb with many so-called “coronials” born last month.

Mother of four-week-old Isla, Claire Stephen moved to the Pilbara from Scotland with her husband in October 2018.

Ms Stephen said she credited local organisations such as Hedland Well Women’s Centre for making her feel supported as she learnt the ropes of motherhood.

“I’m only just learning as I’m going but the (Hedland) Well Women’s Centre are fantastic,” she said. Ms Stephen said finding her “Pilbara family” had given her the support to tackle what was often an “emotional” time.

“I have found it hard having no family here but know that most people in the Pilbara have an understanding of how that feels.

“It has made it a bit easier when you have people who understand how you feel and have places to go, like the Well Women’s Centre.”

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