As revellers around the country welcomed in a new year, maternity ward staff at Sunshine Hospital were preparing to welcome a different kind of new arrival.

Sotiria Apostolidou was born at 1.09 am on January 1.

Weighing 3310 grams, Sotiria was the hospital’s first delivery for 2018.

Last year was busy for maternity staff, with the hospital recording a record number of births (536) for a single month in October.

Sunshine Hospital operations manager maternity Lisa Smith said the trend was expected to continue.

“Sunshine Hospital has seen an increase in births in the past 12 months,” Ms Smith said.

“At this stage, the predicted birth rate for 2017-18 is 5758 – a six per cent increase from the previous year.”

There were 5579 babies born at the hospital in 2017, an increase on the 5482 recorded in 2016.

While the increased numbers have put pressure on staff, relief is in sight.

“Significant work is being undertaken in preparation for the move to the new Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital in 2019,” Ms Smith said.