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March 20, 2020 | Nancy M. Hurst, PhD, RN, IBCLC

Photo: Getty Images

Most people know about the profound benefits of breastfeeding for infants and mothers. As is the case in other natural disasters, the effects of breastfeeding are even more important now during this pandemic. During this period of uncertainty, breastfeeding is very important because it can protect infants from respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses. Along the Gulf Coast, we have experienced disasters when clean water and food supplies are limited. At those times, we are reminded that mothers have the optimal nutrition resource...

March 10, 2020 | Patricia King-Ritter

Photo credit: Lot Five Studios.

Patricia King-Ritter will never forget July 4, 2008 — the day her twin daughters first beat the odds.

About five weeks before that Independence Day, an 18-week ultrasound revealed that King-Ritter’s identical twin girls had twin-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS), a serious condition that occurs in about 10% to 15% of pregnancies with identical twins that share one placenta.

In TTTS, blood vessel connections within the placenta allow the fetuses to share a...

February 12, 2020 | Cassie Lawrence

Learning your unborn child is sick is difficult for any soon-to-be parent. This was the case for Cassie who, at 22 weeks pregnant, found out her unborn baby boy needed immediate intervention.

"I was at my usual ultrasound when the team discovered something unusual in the image," Cassie said. “They'd found a heart defect during the ultrasound and sent me to another hospital to check what was happening.”

At the research hospital Cassie was sent to, she and her husband received their baby’s diagnosis: hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)....

January 31, 2020 | By Claire Cook, Health Education Nurse, the Immunization Project

Photo: Getty Images

When parents ask me why their child needs the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, my answer is always “Cancer ... It prevents CANCER. So, let’s give it today.”

While many people who acquire HPV will successfully fight off the virus on their own, those who don’t are at risk for developing HPV-related cancers. In women, HPV can lead to cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers; in men, penile cancer. In both sexes, HPV can cause anal or head and neck cancers.

Unfortunately, the pervasive...

January 22, 2020 | RJ, Phee and Cubby's Dad.

When you see 4-year-olds Phee and Cubby, two identical, joyful, curious girls, you would hardly believe they were given just a 10% chance of being born.

Right from the start, the odds of pregnancy were already stacked against RJ and Bunny, the twin’s parents, so they elected to pursue in vitro fertilization.

“Just three days after our first cycle of in vitro, a blood test confirmed we were pregnant. Twelve days later, we had an ultrasound and the physician said she saw a dot on the screen, but I told my wife, I thought I...