JOPLIN, Mo. – The first baby of the new year, Dustin J, arrived at 11:19 am Sunday, January 1, 2023, at the Freeman West campus. He weighed 8 pounds and 0.7 ounces and measured 21.3 inches in length. His parents, Laura and David Braker of Jasper, are excited about their new arrival.
“We just think he is so special,” said a smiling Laura. Dustin J is the couple’s eighth child.
Following tradition, the first baby born each year receives a special baby gift basket courtesy of Freeman Health System. Dustin J will also go home with stuffed animals, onesies and lots of toys.
Freeman Health System has provided maternity care to Joplin and surrounding communities for more than 94 years. As one of the busiest maternity centers in Missouri, Freeman Maternity Center features two obstetric surgery suites, board-certified obstetricians, certified nurse midwives, the region’s only board-certified perinatologist for high-risk pregnancies and three full-time neonatal nurse practitioners for sick and prematurely born infants. Designed with privacy and comfort in mind, Freeman Maternity Center features home-like birthing suites and private mom and baby rooms.