Soldiers aren't the only thing in abundance at Fort Campbell on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.
Troops returning home from the war in Iraq have caused a baby boom on base, increasing the average number of babies born per month at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital from about 135 before the war to about 155.
The boom comes as the hospital updates its maternity ward and improves its women's health facilities.
"Women's health and women's health needs -- for family members and active-duty (soldiers) -- they are an important part of the overall military healthcare system," said Col. Patricia A.H. Saulsbery, hospital commander.
The hospital opened a $3.8 million mother/baby unit last year and a $4.4 million labor/delivery/recovery unit this year. A $2.7 million Women's Health Clinic is scheduled to open next year.
Officials began planning the projects in the 1990s when they saw a spike in births during Operation Desert Storm, said Laura Boyd, the hospital's public affairs officer.
"We made plans to accommodate the larger numbers several years ago, and now we're seeing very large numbers," she said.
In some recent months, more than 190 babies were born at Blanchfield.
The new maternity unit has 13,500 square feet of space, including a waiting room, seven labor/delivery/recovery rooms and two exam rooms.
Sharon Reid, head nurse for the unit, said the idea was to provide more space and make the medical equipment less conspicuous. The incubator folds down from the wall, and the rooms include cabinets that cover other necessities.
"It's a more family-centered care approach," Boyd said. "The rooms are much nicer and a bit larger."