Quality Care and Support Puts Mother at Ease

August 29, 2022

Whitney Tarvin’s third child, Peyton, contracted COVID-19 when she was only two months old. When Peyton came in for her four-month checkup, she weighed just 13 pounds, 3 ounces and had not grown in length or weight over those two months. She had dropped from the 90th to 50th percentile since her two-month checkup.

Peyton’s TexomaCare pediatrician, Shannon Hayes, MD, FAAP, recommended they see a lactation consultant and referred them to Natalie Hill, BSN, RNC, IBCLC, at Texoma Medical Center for a feeding study and weight check.

Meeting the Lactation Consultant

“I had actually worked with Natalie when my second baby wasn’t latching,” Whitney says, “so I knew I was in good hands.” Whitney and Peyton began weekly visits with Natalie, during which they tried a variety of methods to solve the issue.

“It is never easy to deliver the news that your baby is not gaining weight as expected,” Natalie says. “I like to work with each family individually to come up with a few different plans and find the one that will work with their specific needs.”

At Dr. Hayes’ recommendation, they first tried MCT oil, a nutrient-rich supplement for breast milk. When that proved ineffective, they assessed Peyton’s latch. She was born with a lip tie, a condition that can make latching difficult for newborns. When a latching issue was ruled out, Natalie suggested they continue to monitor Peyton’s growth during weekly visits before considering formula.

“Even though we couldn’t figure out why Peyton wasn’t gaining weight, it was great just to have Natalie’s support throughout the process,” Whitney says. “She eased my anxiety during a really scary time for a mom. That really helped my mental health.”

A Healthy, Chunky Baby

Eventually Peyton’s weight gain began to improve. They moved to biweekly checkups after she gained four ounces between two visits. Looking back on the experience, Whitney is thankful for all support she had during this trying time.

Peyton’s progress has been satisfying for her caregivers, too. “It has been so nice to see this family evolve,” Natalie says, “and to help Whitney meet her breastfeeding goal.” Whitney has a long history with Dr. Hayes, who was her pediatrician as a child.

“I feel blessed for all the help I got from Natalie and Dr. Hayes during this journey. Having access to a lactation consultant is an incredible resource that not enough new mothers know they have,” Whitney says. “I have a healthy, chunky baby and I couldn’t be more grateful for the phenomenal care I received!”