• ‘Hurricane Matthew babies' inundate local hospitals nine months after storm

    By: Jenna Bourne, Action News Jax


    Nine months after Hurricane Matthew, some local hospitals saw what they’re calling a “significant increase” in births.

    “Our hurricane souvenir,” said Kimberly Mashek, new mother of a baby boy.

    Mashek gave birth to Keegan on July 19, nine months after the hurricane hit Florida.

    “Obviously, yeah, we had some good times during Hurricane Matthew,” said Mashek.

    There must have been something in the water at Big Fish Yoga -- where Mashek works -- during Hurricane Matthew.

    Mashek became pregnant, as did another yoga teacher ... and several students.

    “Obviously, Hurricane Matthew plays a huge part into that, just not having much to do," Mashek said. "And the mood is right, maybe, with your hurricane party and the candles and everything."

    “It’s been busy, more than usual,” said Flagler Hospital Obstetrics and Gynecology physician Dr. Davis Dhas.

    In July, 141 babies were born at St. Augustine’s Flagler Hospital. The hospital calls that a “significant increase” over July 2016, when 120 babies were born.

    “Gives us an idea of what people were doing when there was no power and their iPads run out of batteries,” Dr. Dhas said.

    UF Health in Jacksonville also saw an uptick. Between June and July this year, 585 babies were delivered there, compared to 524 during that same time period in 2016.

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