Today’s news:

Melinda Katz gives birth to baby boy a month early

City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills) got a bit of an early surprise when she gave birth Saturday, about a month before her due date.

The second-term councilwoman, who is also the only woman running for the office of city comptroller in 2009, is now the proud mother of a baby boy whose name has not yet been chosen. He was born by Cesarean section the morning of May 3 at a hospital in Manhattan at 34 weeks, weighing 4 pounds 8 ounces, Katz's office said.

The baby was conceived by in-vitro fertilization using a donor egg and donor sperm.

Mother and baby are doing well, and the baby is to stay at the hospital for another few weeks because of his weight, according to standard operating procedure, Katz's office said.

"The baby is eating fine and gaining weight," Katz's office said.

There is plenty of speculation about the baby's name, but so far the councilwoman has remained mum. A staffer said there is a long list of suggested names.

Both mother and baby are resting at the hospital for the moment, but staffers said the elder Katz had not let pregnancy slow her down and were not sure when she planned to go back to work.

The City Council offers members six weeks' maternity leave, Katz's office said.

When she decides to return to work will be contingent on her and the baby's health, but her office said there has been no discussion yet of the councilwoman's plans to return to work.

Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodoulides@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

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