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This Product Helped My Preemie Baby Get Healthy

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This Product Helped My Preemie Baby Get Healthy

How my baby stopped spitting up everything and began to thrive.
Donna  Schwenk
Donna Schwenk More by this author
Oct 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I was 41 years old and holding my new baby in my arms, but it wasn’t the beautiful experience I had hoped for. My little one was born seven weeks prematurely and weighed only four pounds—and I was the cause. I had had severe preeclampsia, my liver had started shutting down, and the doctor said that my daughter had to be delivered immediately. This is not how I had imagined the experience. But the signs had been there.

 The pregnancy wasn’t easy, and I had developed gestational diabetes. 

But the birth was over, my baby was going to be fine, and my diabetes disappeared. I thought that everything was returning to normal, but several months later, the diabetes returned, and an alarm bell went off in my head. I knew a lot about diabetes—I’d seen it firsthand in my own family and I learned a lot from my friends and family members who work in the medical field. And as I looked at my beautiful baby in my lap, I knew I had to change.

 I wanted to be vibrant and healthy for this little one, and I knew I couldn’t raise her the way I wanted to if I had diabetes. I wanted to live a long life filled with joy and love and family, and if my health didn’t change, I realized that this might not happen.

 I will never forget that day, sitting in the rocking chair with tears rolling down my cheeks. I cried out from a deep place in my soul for help and wisdom. Little did I know that this baby was coming into my life to save me and to teach me who I really am. Here’s what happened: Holli was ten-and-a-half months old when she decided to stop nursing. Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue, but it was a big problem for a baby born seven weeks early. Babies receive some immunity protection from their mothers during the last six weeks in the womb. Premature babies like Holli don’t get that safeguard. When she was born, the hospital staff stressed that the only way to protect her was to nurse her as often as possible for a year or two.

 Without the immunity shield, preemies are more susceptible to all kinds of complications from everyday colds and viruses. And as soon as Holli stopped nursing, I witnessed this firsthand. She began having frequent colds and countless sleepless nights. It was hard on both of us. Then one afternoon in a health-food store, I stumbled upon a book called The Body Ecology Diet  by Donna Gates. I picked up the book and it fell open to a page on kefir and an explanation of kefir’s benefits. I was intrigued. The next book on the shelf was Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. When I opened that book, I happened to turn to a page on kefir.

 Just then, a store employee walked by. He stopped, turned to me, and said, “That is the most important book you’ll ever read. You should pay attention. It could change everything you thought you knew.” Then he just strolled away. I had never heard of kefir, and yet in the space of a few minutes two books had opened to pages on it and a total stranger had told me to pay attention. So I walked over to the dairy section, found the kefir, grabbed a bottle, and put it in my cart—along with those two books. Then I checked out and headed home, quietly hoping that this was the answer to my prayers.

 I immediately began to add one to two teaspoons of kefir to each of Holli’s bottles. What happened shocked me—in one month my baby had gained four pounds! That’s a lot for a preemie. She had color in her cheeks, and she was sleeping through the night. She stopped spitting up everything, and she began to thrive. So we upped her kefir intake, and in a short time, she became the healthiest person in the house.

 I started drinking the kefir, too. Not too long after that, I was standing at my kitchen window looking out at the birds and thinking, They’re hungry. I’m going to run out and give them some bird food. Now you may not think this is a big deal, but when you feel sick and run-down, you don’t care about the birds. They can feed themselves. But on this day, something had lifted inside of me, and I felt joy and wellness. This was how I was supposed to feel, and I had forgotten what it was like. My blood pressure was healthy, and my blood sugar numbers had normalized.

I became addicted to the good feeling, and I wanted to feel like that every day. This was my beginning. I became a woman on a mission: to discover what had happened to me. What was this kefir and how had it changed Holli and me so dramatically? What was in this ancient food that restored me to my true self?  These questions led me to write Cultured Food For Life, a book that will teach you how to make and serve delicious probiotic foods for better health and wellness.


About Author
Donna  Schwenk
Donna Schwenk is the Kansas City Chapter leader for Weston Price Foundation, a worldwide organization comprised of people dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense food to the human diet through education, research, and activism. She teaches classes i Continue reading