Sierra View Medical Center in Porterville delivers the county’s first baby of 2023, Visalia’s Kaweah Health delivers six on New Year’s Day

TULARE COUNTY – Traditionally considered born with good luck, the handful of New Year’s babies delivered after midnight on Jan. 1 in the Central Valley could be off to a lucky start.

Bonifacio Tellez Roman was Tulare County’s first baby born in 2023 delivered ten minutes after midnight on Jan. 1. He was born to Dulce Roman Jaimes with the help of RN Kim Estrada at Sierra View Medical Center (SVMC) in Porterville. Originally due Jan. 4, baby Bonifacio’s family was startled but grateful for his early arrival at a healthy 7 pounds and 5 ounces, measuring 20.5 inches in length according to a press release from SVMC.

For SVMC staff, the babies delivered after midnight each New Year holiday provides an opportunity to celebrate along with the community. Baby Bonifacio was gifted with a basket of newborn essentials such as swaddles, reversible burp cloths, nursing cover, a baby nail care and first-aid kit, as well as items like lip balm, hand sanitizer and Band-Aids for the family.

Known as the largest labor and delivery triage center in Tulare County, Kaweah Health’s Family Birthing Center announced in a press release that six babies were delivered in their 21-bed labor unit after midnight as of 1:43 p.m. 

Kaweah’s first delivery was Elias Perez, delivered at 1:10 a.m. to Ana Perez Arreola of Visalia weighing 6.5 pounds and measuring at 20.25 inches in length. Kaweah Health also delivered the first baby girl of 2023, Braelynn Tate Nicholson, to Madelyn and Bradley Johnson of Porterville. She was born at 6:37 a.m. weighing 8 pounds and 10 ounces, measuring at 20.25 inches in length. 

Traditions celebrating babies as a personification of the new year can be traced back to ancient Greece. The Greeks would carry a baby in a basket throughout town annually to recognize the rebirth of Dionysus, the son of Zeus and god of wine and fertility. 

By the 1900s, newspaper cartoonists and retail advertisers largely secularized and commodified the tradition. They have also cemented the concept of special New Year babies into the cultural zeitgeist of today that evoke a fresh start, a bigger picture and optimism for the future. 

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