The first American baby born in 2019 was delivered in a hospital in Guam, a U.S. Pacific island territory.
The child, named Malakai, was born 19 minutes past midnight on New Year’s Day, reported the Guam Daily Post.
According to the report, the baby weighed in at 6.6 pounds and is 17.9 inches.
Dr. Tom Shieh said he delivered the baby at Guam Memorial Hospital, adding that the mother and child are fine.
The Guam Daily Post noted that Malakai is the first baby born in the United States in 2019.
Malakai is the third child of Desirae and Kyle Mafnas and was described as a healthy baby who had been “eating all morning,” said his mother, reported the Pacific Daily News.
The parents told the Guam Post that Malakai is a blessing as Desirae had a miscarriage before he was conceived.
“We had a miscarriage right before Malakai was conceived. His name stands for ‘godsend,” Kyle told the publication. “I came in at 11 a.m. and then didn’t give birth until 12:19 a.m. It was the whole day,” Desirae added.
“I am just very happy that my wife and the baby are healthy and happy. That’s all that matters,” said Kyle Mafnas, who works as a firefighter.
Malakai was asleep during the presentation of his gifts, which were valued at $6,600, the report said.
“It’s a healthy handsome BOY! Welcome our first baby of the New Year! His name is Malakai. He will lead us into 2019. Congratulations mommy Desirae Mafnas & Family,” Shieh said.
Guam is located close to the international date line in the Pacific Ocean, and it uses the motto, “Where America’s Day Begins.”
New Year's baby Malakai Mafnas: "God sends" family joy after loss. Read more at: https://t.co/u5GX0oOgXp
— Guam PDN (@GuamPDN) January 1, 2019
Islands in the western Pacific Ocean like Samoa, Tonga, and Kiritimati are the first places to welcome the New Year.
Auckland, New Zealand, is the first major city in the world to celebrate New Year’s. It doesn’t appear that there were any babies born on Samoa, Tonga, and Kiritimati—or on any other Pacific island.
Many More Babies Born on New Year’s Day
It’s not clear who the first baby born in the world is. The first baby born in 2018 was identified as a child from Auckland, New Zealand.
And this year, Auckland’s first baby was identified as little Cora Rae Atkins from the North Shore, New Zealand, according to Stuff.co.nz. Cora may be the first baby born in 2019.
Cora was born at 12.34 a.m. on Jan. 1 at North Shore Hospital.
“[She] was a good New Year present. So far, she’s quite content. She’s pretty much slept from 5 o’clock this morning ’til [2 p.m.]. She’s pretty happy,” father Leach said. “[We’re] a little bit overwhelmed because it was quite a quick delivery.”
— Stuff Life & Style (@StuffLifeStyle) January 1, 2019
According to the U.N., “An estimated 395, 072 babies will be born around the world on New Year’s Day.”
“Of those, a quarter will be born in South Asia alone. In cities around the world, revelers will welcome not only the New Year with great festivities but also their newest and tiniest residents. As the clock strikes midnight, Sydney will greet an estimated 168 babies, followed by 310 in Tokyo, 605 in Beijing, 166 in Madrid and finally, 317 in New York. Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2019’s first baby; the United States, its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries,” said the U.N.
Those countries are India, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, the United States, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Bangladesh.
“In 2017, about 1 million babies died the day they were born, and 2.5 million in just their first month of life. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis and pneumonia, a violation of their basic right to survival,” according to the U.N.
2018’s First Babies
In 2018, on New Year’s Day, another Guam couple welcomed the first baby born in the United States. Two seconds after midnight on New Year’s Day, Jennica Lynch and Davante Perez welcomed Logan James Lynch Perez, reported People magazine at the time.
— People Parents (@People_Parents) January 1, 2018
“It was painful, but it was worth it,” Lynch told the Pacific Daily News at the time. “He’s a handsome, healthy baby.”
Dr. Shieh was also involved in delivering the baby. He said the birth was “all natural, not induced.” “It’s exciting, we’re blessed,” Lynch added to the Pacific Daily News. “We’re thankful for everything.”
Meanwhile, the first baby born in the world last year was named Rex, delivered in Auckland.
“Everyone was saying that there was a good chance that he was the first but we don’t know for sure, yet,” Ena Lu, the mother of Rex, told Stuff.co.nz last year. “It’s a bit surreal. When he came out it was just magical,” she added. “He’s actually a really good baby, when he came out he was really loud, but once I fed him he went to sleep and now he’s been asleep for four hours. So I got some decent sleep.”