Mama Goose to birth babies at Woman's Hospital

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Nine thousand babies are born at Woman's Hospital each year, and now a member of South Louisiana's wildlife will add her newborns to that number.

Expectant mommies, sonograms and new born babies are all a part of a normal day the new Woman's Hospital. But a few weeks ago some of the staff had a different, parental encounter in section G of the staff parking lot, and it was nothing like they'd ever seen at the hospital before.

"I noticed her sitting under the tree, and I just knew," said Woman's Hospital staffer Jill Brakebill. "I was like, 'oh, we're going to have babies!'"

"We've had Canada geese on the property since before we started construction on the new hospital. We're aware that she's been camped out her and hatching her eggs for probably the last two weeks," said Stan Shelton, Woman's Senior Vice President for Support Services.

Shelton, says Mama Goose has since become the hospital's unofficial mascot. Hospital staffers leave her bread and water each day, and security has roped off her nest to protect her from cars and pedestrians.

"We've got about 1,800 employees, and the majority of them are nurses," said Shelton. "They do a great job of caring for our patients, and in some respects to them this is just another patient."

All are quickly learning a lot about the Canada goose's life cycle and just how protective they are of their young.

"She did eyeball me. I only passed once, and now I park on the other side," said Heidi Davis, Woman's employee.

Just to be safe, staffers admire Mama Goose and her nest from a non threatening distance, while patiently awaiting the arrival of the new Woman's Hospital's first goslings.

"I think it's ironically appropriate. I think she'll be in the best hands that she can be in. That's for sure, so she picked a good spot," said Brakebill.

"I am looking forward to the little geese walking around. That's going to be fun," said Davis.

Based on when she first started nesting, the Woman's staff believes Mama Goose's eggs will hatch in the next few weeks.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.