Baby Carlie Avoids the Hospital

Renee, a HealthySteps Specialist and lactation consultant was able to help a new mother with feeding techniques and avoid the infant's hospitalization.

Carlie is from Fort Morgan, Colorado – a rural town of beef and sugar manufacturing plants. She was born prematurely and has not been eating very much over the last few weeks. 

Sarah, her mother, arrives at the pediatrician’s office for Carlie’s 1-month well-child checkup, hoping for the best. Sarah is concerned about Carlie’s feeding habits; she isn’t gaining weight. Dr. Prince, her pediatrician, looks worried as she places Carlie on the scale. Dr Prince recommends admitting Carlie to a children’s hospital in Aurora, Colorado – 100 miles away. 

Baby Carlie Drinking from a Bottle

To offer additional support, Dr. Prince connects Sarah with Renee, a HealthySteps Specialist and lactation consultant. Renee reassures Sarah and offers suggestions for new feeding techniques while they wait for Dr. Prince to complete the hospital admissions process. Carlie immediately sucks down her bottle. 

Sarah is thrilled – Carlie has never eaten like this before. Renee too is thrilled and rushes to find Dr. Prince, who gladly ends her call with hospital admissions. The team, feeling optimistic as Carlie eats, agrees to observe her for 24 hours. Driving home, Sarah feels a huge weight roll off of her shoulders. 

After several visits, Dr. Prince and Renee spot a small challenge with Carlie’s breathing that requires surgery. Sarah is uneasy about the surgery, but feels better knowing she has Renee by her side. After a successful surgery, Carlie continues to gain weight. 

Carlie wearing a backpack ready for school

Now 3 ½ years-old, Carlie is attending her first year of preschool! She’s a busy kid who loves t-ball, swimming and helping her papa with his race car. HealthySteps continues to be a part of Carlie’s health care. Even after Renee and Dr. Prince move to different clinics, they continue to be present in Carlie’s family’s life – celebrating holidays, coaching and playing sports together. Their new HealthySteps Specialist, Sherri, stops by during every appointment to say hi and provide support where needed.  


HealthySteps is a program of ZERO TO THREE, the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to ensuring all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. Read more success stories or donate today to help grow our work.


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