Texas Children’s Mother’s Milk Bank Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

texas-childrens-donor-milk-bankThis month celebrates our one-year anniversary since opening the Texas Children’s Mother’s Milk Bank. What a year it’s been! Our primary reason for developing this program is to meet the needs of our smallest and sickest hospitalized infants. Although the majority of women whose newborns require extended hospitalization choose to provide their own milk, it’s not always possible for them to supply enough for their own baby. As the American Academy of Pediatrics stated this year, pasteurized donor breast milk is the next best option to mother’s own milk. Since Houston did not have a donor milk bank and we were experiencing a tremendous growth in our needs, the time seemed right to create our own program at Texas Children’s.

Our mission then as now, is to qualify breastfeeding mothers to donate their excess breast milk for our hospitalized infants — primarily those in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Our goal was to meet the milk volume needs of these babies and we have more than achieved that goal in one short year. The response from women has been both inspirational and humbling.

Since August 2011, a total of 72 women have donated almost 35,000 ounces of milk, from which approximately 350 infants have been the happy recipients. Full Entry »

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A Dad’s Story: My Son’s Stay In The NICU

cdh-survivor-james-nicholsMy son James was born in 2009 at 31 weeks weighing an even 3 pounds. He had his first major surgery when he was only a few days old. He was diagnosed with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH), a short esophagus and a few other internal abnormalities. He spent his first 6 months in the NICU, with Mom and Dad at his side.

We had many sleepless nights wondering if we would ever get to take our precious son home but fortunately we had a wonderful team of doctors and nurses from Texas Children’s Fetal Center on our side. They worked hard to keep him alive and always spent time to discuss his condition, treatments and plan of action. Full Entry »

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Selecting Your Baby’s Delivery Date: Know The Facts

Over the years it’s become quite common for mothers to request an early delivery date. Some moms want to induce labor or schedule their cesarean so they can have their baby early for reasons of convenience or comfort; others want to choose their child’s birth date for sentimental reasons, and some moms want to avoid delivering on certain dates or holidays. Whatever the motive, the practice of early induction of labor, or early cesarean delivery for non-medical reasons can cause major problems for the baby and even the mother.

view of a pregnant woman standing holding her stomach

During recent years, research studies have proven what some have long suspected — even though a baby born just two or three weeks early looks normal, a greater proportion of these babies have developmental problems when compared to babies born after 39 weeks. It’s understandable that moms are confused by this because many women have had babies who were three, four or more weeks early and are seemingly normal. What’s important to remember is that the data regarding child development applies to populations, not just one individual family. So while your 36-week newborn may meet all of his milestones growing up, a greater number of kids born at that same gestation are not as lucky in comparison to those born after 39 weeks.

During the last few weeks of your pregnancy there is a lot of development and growth that takes place. Important organs such as the brain, lungs and liver are not fully developed until the baby reaches at least 39 weeks. In fact, at 35 weeks a baby’s brain weighs only two-thirds Full Entry »

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World Breastfeeding Week 2012

Mum looks at the kid sucking a breast, isolated on white

The first week in August marks the 20th World Breastfeeding Week. Much has happened since the inaugural celebration in 1991 — a tremendous amount of research and experiences by scientists, clinicians and mothers highlighting the benefits of breastfeeding and human milk. The theme of this year’s celebration is Understanding the Past-Planning for the Future. But what is the best course to take to plan for the future based on our past experiences? I have a few thoughts….

Increasing breastfeeding rates. This is the primary focus of many health care groups. But what is the best way to achieve this goal? Full Entry »

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7-Year-Old Girl And Mom Share Experience With Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH)

My daughter Theresa was born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) and has grown into a beautiful and smart child with a passion for life and a greater understanding of what it means to be thankful. Below is a short explanation of CDH from Theresa herself:


congenital-diaphragmatic-hernia-survivor-theresa-brownI had CDH when I was born. It means that I’m different than tons of kids, but not all kids. I’m different because my heart is on a different side, and so when I say the pledge of allegiance, I put my hand over my heart, on the different side. Having CDH also means when I was little, I didn’t eat from my mouth for a long time, so I ate from a tube near my belly button. It also means I go to more doctors. I go to Texas Children’s Hospital and see my doctors, and there is a big camera that takes pictures of my lungs. My lungs are smaller because of CDH, but I still get to play, draw, do math, and go swimming like all the other kids.

When I was little, I had to stay at Texas Children’s Hospital a lot. My mom told me that the first time, I stayed for 45 days when I was a baby. The second time I stayed for 10 days. Now, I only go and stay for a few minutes for different doctor visits and check-ups. My main doctor is Dr. Castle, but my mom says his real name is Dr. Cass, but I call him Dr. Castle. On my visits, I ask him questions like “Can I take karate lessons?” and he says “Yes!” Full Entry »

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