My name is Danielle Binns.
I am a foodie, fitness fanatic, and Certified Nutritionist.
But when you get down to the core, I’m a mom to two awesome little girls,
(one of which is a very small child and ‘extreme picky eater’).
A mom who suffered watching her first baby starve and undergo many hospitalizations,
who obsessed about giving her baby the best nutrition while balancing medical advice,
who constantly questioned herself asking
“am I really the best mom for her?”.
That was the old me.
I am now a mom who celebrates her daughter (no matter her size), who embraces her challenges and uniqueness, who supports other moms like me to do the same.
You might be here right now because you have a little one who doesn’t eat or grow ‘normally’. Or because you are struggling, obsessing, and doubting every decision you make as a mother. I rode that same rollercoaster of emotions EVERY DAY.
LET ME SHARE MY STORY…
During my pregnancy, I was uncharacteristically comfortable, slept soundly, and blissful as I envisioned the future with our perfectly healthy baby. While I felt wonderful, my seemingly perfect pregnancy ended abruptly when a diagnostic ultrasound revealed that our unborn baby dropped from the 15th to the 3rd percentile and was considered ‘failure to thrive’.
At that moment, I knew what it felt like to be a mom – and it hurt like hell.
It killed me to think that while I was enjoying pregnancy, my baby was suffering inside me. The pain was amplified knowing that her very own mother might have screwed up and still couldn’t help. This was just the beginning of our nightmare.
These were supposed to be the happiest days of our lives, but instead were some of the darkest.
During a sizing ultrasound, a cardiologist was called in to examine the image of our baby’s heart. She delicately explained that our small unborn child also had a “large hole in her heart”. She handed us a referral that is forever etched in my memory; on it were 3 words NO parent ever expects to see describing their child – “Congenital Heart Defect”. We were then told that our baby would require surgery by 4 months of age. I thought, “this can’t be happening, not to us”. I broke down right there in my husband’s arms.
As a kale-loving, smoothie-drinking, active holistic nutritionist, I thought I was doing everything right. But I was now convinced I did something wrong.
- I exercised too much or too hard.
- I ate too little of X and too much of Y.
- I exposed her to excess pollution living in the city.
- I slept on my back too often.
My baby wasn’t growing and had a broken heart. And it was all because of me.
A week later our precious daughter, Sienna, was born at 4 lbs 5 ounces. Shortly after her birth, the doctor’s labelled Sienna as an IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and SGA baby (small for gestational age). In the following months we battled through nursing, daily vomiting, and no sleep. Our visits to the pediatrician often ended in tears as her weight crept up by just a few grams (or down).
What is wrong with me? I am her mother and should be able to fix this.
While I tried to follow the ‘feeding rules’ I knew Sienna wasn’t getting enough. At times I crossed the line in desperation to get something in that little body, even squeezing her cheeks to make room for a spoon. Playdates were also painful watching other babies happily feed themselves, while Sienna resisted the first bite. Every mom seemed to be in their element, while I was on the verge of a breakdown.
I just wished I could feed my baby.
My gut told me something was wrong, but Sienna’s specialists remained hopeful that she would eventually catch-up. That day never came. At her first birthday, Sienna weighed 12 pounds placing her below the 0 percentile. The doctor’s finally agreed to investigate and genetic tests revealed our daughter had a rare mutation affecting her growth, appetite, and development – she was diagnosed with Russell-Silver Syndrome (RSS). My emotions didn’t know what to do with this new information…while we finally had clarity on why we had so many challenges, it was also more upsetting news.
All this time, I beat myself up for not helping her grow. But she wasn’t like other kids.
Not today, not ever.
I realize now what I should have known back then…
I WAS doing everything right.
I AM a great mom and the best one for Sienna.
She is not suffering, but she IS thriving within her potential.
Being a mom to a small baby with feeding challenges is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Today, Sienna is finally ‘on the growth curve’ and above the average size for RSS children. More importantly, I no longer define my daughter by her growth chart and development milestones alone. Instead I celebrate who is inside that little body. A happy, energetic, and healthy girl.
Knowing what I know now, I can’t let other mothers go through this alone. I want to share the love (my evidence-based holistic strategies and support) – with you and your “little” one.
MY STRATEGY IN A NUTSHELL
By combining my nutrition expertise, pediatric research, and advice from medical specialists,
I implemented holistic feeding protocols and nutrient-dense meal plans for Sienna – and we have seen fantastic results.
You’re little one can thrive too
OTHER STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Aside from being a mother who is incredibly passionate about providing the BEST natural and holistic solutions for other moms and babies, I have also obtained credentials/certification in the following:
- Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP)
- “Naturally Designed Pregnancy and Postnatal Nutrition”
- “SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding”
- “Feeding Matters”