CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The area's leading hospital for childbirths maintains a strong lead over its competitors but has recorded a steady decline in the number of babies born there since 2010.
But while Thomas is seeing an upswing in childbirths, those at CAMC are reflecting a negative trend.
There were 2,952 births at Women and Children's last year, down 180 from the 3,132 born there in 2011.
The number in 2011 was down 90 from the 3,225 births in 2010. That's a decrease of about 8.5 percent over those three years.
Meanwhile, Thomas remains behind Women and Children's but is seeing a steady increase.
In 2010, there were 858 births there. The next year saw 1,008. Last year, there were 1,092. That's a 27.3 percent increase over three years.
"It's hard to pinpoint any one cause for the decrease," CAMC spokesman Dale Witte said. "Our population throughout the area is stagnant. Birth rates across the country are down.
"Several factors go into having babies. Some seem more inclined to try to have a baby when the economy is doing well and there are jobs. They may be less inclined if jobs aren't there. Once in a while, there will be a blip because of the weather."
Thomas spokeswoman Paige Johnson suggested another reason.
"In June 2010, our Clinical Pavilion opened, which has five all-new floors," she said. "And the most special is the new obstetrics floor. We added six labor and delivery rooms that are absolutely huge and a special care nursery. We have 12 private, postpartum rooms.
"We were the only ones in the area at that time to have that."