The birth of any baby is cause for celebration.

Leave it to the state of Louisiana to throw a giant birthday bash for those born Monday, including five born at Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

As part of the state’s Bicentennial celebration, the Louisiana Hospital Association, the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission and birthing hospitals in the state bestowed the honor of official “Bicentennial Baby” to any baby born Monday on the 200th anniversary of Louisiana becoming a state.

“By the end of the day, we expect to have recognized between 200 and 250 babies around the state,” said John Matessino, LHA president and CEO. “Each baby gets to take home a memorable keepsake – a piece of history.”

The five babies born Monday at Rapides Women’s and Children’s Hospital, along with all other babies born in a Louisiana hospital Monday, will receive the Louisiana Bicentennial medal and a special Bicentennial certificate recognizing the child as an official “Bicentennial Baby.”

The limited-edition Commemorative Bicentennial Medal is an updated re-issue of the coin Adler’s minted in 1912 for the State Centennial, with the State Seal on one side and the silhouette of the state on the reverse. The medals were paid for through sponsorships and donations to the Louisiana Bicentennial Commission.

The certificate is signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein, Lt. Gen. (Retired) Russel Honoré who is serving as the Bicentennial Chairman, LHA President and CEO John Matessino and Rapides Regional Medical Center CEO David Williams.

“There is only a little more than a one-half of one percent chance to be born in Louisiana, and to be born on Louisiana’s 200th birthday is even more special,” Lt. Gov. Dardenne said. “I hope the babies born (Monday) grow up and realize how lucky they are to be born in this great state.”