NEARLY 200 babies were born to mums with an address in the Republic of Ireland last year at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.
New figures show that between January and December 23, 2010, there were 193 babies born at Daisy Hill Hospital to mothers from the Republic, according to a spokesman.
And there are already 61 women from the Republic booked for a 2011 delivery at the well-known hospital.
The spokesperson said that standard charges for private maternity patients at Daisy Hill Hospital are £824 (around €955) for a normal delivery or £2,167 (around €2,514) for a Caesarean section.
There is also an accommodation charge of £390 (around €452) per night.
"These charges are comparable to other similar-sized hospitals," the spokesman said.
Women living in any part of the Republic can access private maternity services at the hospital.
According to the figures from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the total number of births at Daisy Hill Hospital in 2009 was 2,167 and, of these, 289 infants were born to mothers from the republic of Ireland.
In the first four months of 2010 alone, there were 64 infants born at Daisy Hill Hospital to mothers with addresses in the Republic.
The baby boom has continued throughout 2010, making it another busy year for the Dublin maternity hospitals also.
Meanwhile, in Spain, doctors reported a slew of expectant mothers who were intent on giving birth just before the New Year so they could claim the last of the government's €2,500 "baby cheque" incentive.
The cheque, payable for every child born or adopted, was introduced in July 2007 in an attempt to boost Spain's low birth rate, and was set to be axed in a round of new year public spending cuts.
Spain's birth rate, 1.36 for each woman of childbearing age, is even lower than the EU mean of 1.4.
Ireland's birth rate of 17 per 1,000 population was the highest of any of the 27 EU countries, according to the latest figures from the Economic and Social Research Institute.
Figures for the national perinatal reporting system for 2008 showed a 5pc increase in births, which rose to 75,587 that year.
They also revealed that women are waiting until they are older to have children.
The link between the economy and birth rate in Ireland also differed when compared to other countries. While the rate dropped during the economic boom in other countries, there was no such decrease here.