HOUSTON - It's taking a while for one consequence of Hurricane Ike to become clear - nine months, to be exact.
Several obstetrical practices associated with one of Texas' biggest hospitals for births say they're expecting a mini baby boom apparently connected to the storm that slammed into southeast Texas on Sept. 13, stranding thousands of people at home with no electricity for days or even weeks.
"You can only do so much when there's no television, nothing open and there's nowhere to go," said Dr. Rakhi Dimino, an obstetrician/gynecologist with Houston Women's Care Associates whose first baby is due June 10.
Dr. John Irwin, the chief of surgery service at The Woman's Hospital of Texas, said he usually delivers 15 to 20 babies a month but expects 26 deliveries in June.
Woman's Hospital, which had more than 9,000 births in 2008 and expects to break that record this year, is expecting to have at least 100 more births this summer.
Other Houston birthing centers, including The Methodist Hospital and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, aren't ready to predict an Ike baby boom.