July 7, 2017
Breastfeeding isn't always as easy as it looks—and plenty of mothers face complications that make nursing even harder.
Among these women? Today show meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, who opened up about a serious issue she faced with nursing her son, six-month-old Calvin. Dreyer explained that she was exclusively breastfeeding him and didn't think much of the fact that Calvin was on the smaller side.
Unfortunately, a doctor's checkup revealed a problem.
“The first three months, Calvin was looking thin and svelte—he looked like a nice, fit little baby," she told PEOPLE. "We go to the doctor and the doctor says, ‘You’re really not feeding him enough food.’ I was exclusively breastfeeding. And he said, ‘[Calvin]’s getting about half of what he should get in a typical day. And it broke my heart. I cried when he said, ‘You have to supplement with formula,’ because I felt like I’d let him down and my body couldn’t do what Calvin needed me to do.”
Dreyer's situation had to have been scary, but we'd urge her and other mamas who have dealt with similar issues not to blame themselves. Ultimately, parenting is something we have to figure out as we go, and it's basically impossible to have all the answers. Breastfeeding in particular can be tricky, and while lots of mothers find success quickly, lots of others find it challenging and sometimes even impossible.
But if we take one thing from Dreyer's story, it's this: Regular well-child checkups are so important because new parents need a doctor's expert eye to assess their babies.
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No matter how many books we read or what information we search online, we don't have medical degrees or years of experience treating kids. It's also a good reminder to start a conversation with your doctor if any issues arise—even if they seem like nothing. When it comes to keeping your kids safe, no topic is too small and no question is too silly.
Every mom's experience with baby feeding is different, and if Dreyer's story is any indication, the best solution is always the one that keeps your baby healthy and happy. Maybe that's exclusive breastfeeding, maybe it's using formula, or maybe it's some combination of both.
The good news? Dreyer found a solution that works for Calvin—she supplements her breast milk with formula—and now she's (rightfully) proud of herself for doing the right thing for her family. And that's all that matters.
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