Smoothies made me a better mom. That sounds silly, right? Read on and you’ll find out why giving my babies (now toddlers) smoothies helped me break free from a fear many preemie moms have…failure to thrive.
It’s no lie that my kids were tiny at birth. They were excruciatingly small at just over 2 pounds each. Did you know babies born at 30 weeks have not yet learned to suck? While they were in NICU they learned to eat. There were days I’d leave the hospital in tears because they just couldn’t do it. The coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing was just too difficult for them. Sadie had the most difficulty and this was the only reason for her extended stay.
There were days I’d leave the hospital in tears because they just couldn’t do it. The coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing was just too difficult for them. Sadie had the most difficulty and this was the only reason for her extended stay.
More than 14 weeks later, once all three were home, I became obsessed with tracking their eating. How many bottles? How many ounces? Even though they were on a high-calorie formula I was so worried about them gaining weight as quickly as they should.
Eventually, my nerves calmed and I stopped recording their every sip. Then, the day came that we were given the okay to stop the formula and start them on whole milk. I have all the faith in the world in our pediatrician, but it was so hard for me to let go of the crutch that I was holding onto for so long.
I knew the high-calorie formula was the reason they were growing.
What would happen if they started losing weight? Are they getting enough calories? I compared them (a no-no, I know) to all the full term babies out there. At just over a year old they were small but healthy. So, I did it. No more formula. I was terrified.
They loved (still love) milk. And the full-fat milk provided what they needed. But, they were slow growers. They were making their own chart, as the doctor would tell me.
In life, I was already a nervous and anxious person. Add three babies to that and I was unbelievably high-strung. I never felt so much stress as I did over not knowing if my babies were truly getting the nutrition they needed.
Then one day another preemie mom mentioned to me that she made high calorie, high protein smoothies for her little girl. That was almost 2 years ago. I have been making them smoothies ever since.
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They started out as very high calorie and full of protein. My smoothies always included whole milk and full-fat Greek yogurt. Sometimes I included an instant breakfast drink packet or even heavy cream. I made them that way almost every day for what seems like forever. Then much like before, my nerves calmed once I was confident that
we they could survive without the formula.
Smoothies are something that only I make for them.
Today, they ask for them on a daily basis. “Mommy, I want a moothie.” I almost always oblige. They love them and I love making them. Smoothies not only helped me escape from my formula prison and they helped me let go of the fear that my children wouldn’t thrive.
I started realizing that they are happy, healthy, and are blossoming into who they are supposed to be – nothing like those full-term babies I once compared them to. I stopped analyzing my children and started raising them. Making smoothies helped me let go of the worry and my outlook on motherhood changed completely. It’s silly, I know, but making smoothies has made me a better mom.