THERE is a baby boom happening across the state, and the Bass Coast is no exception, if Wonthaggi Hospital’s busy maternity service is anything to go by.

And as more COVID conceptions kick in, the numbers are only going to increase, we’re told.

But making mums feel special every day, not just on Mother’s Day, is a team effort for Bass Coast Health.

In addition to the safe and high-quality care by its excellent midwives, specialist obstetricians and GP obstetricians, there are many other reasons that Wonthaggi Hospital’s maternity service is so popular.

And it’s not just the newly renovated spaces or fantastic staff that make mums feel appreciated, it is the community support that makes the service so successful.

Yet another example of the community making a difference is the new ‘Baby Bootie’ program.

The program commenced with newborn, Erik Cicala, receiving a beautiful hand-crocheted pair of booties.

Gorgeous Erik was born on April 13, weighing 4.2kg. His father, Ricky Cicala, who was also born at Wonthaggi Hospital, happily received the heart-warming gift from Liz Purvis, who is responsible for this new Baby Bootie program.

Liz is a local resident who has crocheted for 50 years. Crocheting for more than 200 births at Wonthaggi Hospital’s maternity service, Liz will be busy.

Liz said the idea for the program came as a result of a deterioration in her own health, which meant she had a fair bit of spare time. She decided to dedicate her time to crocheting a heap of booties so that a pair could be given to every newborn baby delivered in Wonthaggi Hospital – a lovely gesture.

Each beautifully crocheted pair of booties comes with a card labelled: “Every child is a gift. Here is a hand-made crochet gift especially for you. This comes from a local woman, made with love XX.” Liz has won numerous prizes for her crochet work, including the Royal Melbourne Show.

Nowadays, she makes around 10 pairs of beautiful booties a day and her aim is to have other crochet enthusiasts, and anyone interested in donating wool, contributing to the Baby Bootie program.

Liz is keen to go on and create a ‘Baby Bundle’ gift with knitted bunny rugs, jackets, jumpers and, of course, the gorgeous booties. A beautiful gift for Bass Coast’s beautiful bubs.