When Dahlia Putt made her appearance into the world at 28 weeks, the odds were against her. Now, four weeks on, a beautiful image of Dahlia latching on to her mother to breastfeed is proving a bond between a mother and child is stronger than anything else.
When Keri Putt’s waters broke at 21 weeks pregnant, doctors gave her two choices – induce labour with only the slimmest chance her daughter would survive or carry her the rest of the pregnancy with no idea how things would turn out.
Keri and her husband chose the latter and, as advised by her doctor, Keri went on strict bed rest for seven weeks, attempting to keep her daughter safe and secure in the womb for as long as she could.
Due to a placental abruption at 28 weeks, Dahlia was born via caesarean section with the expectation of severe health complications and a small chance of survival. She weighed just over 1 kilogram (2 lbs, 5oz) – about the same as a canteloupe – and was 35 centimetres long.
However, Dahlia has surprised everyone, not only thriving but also latching on to the breast at just 32 weeks gestation (4 weeks old) – something that doctors said couldn’t be done until 34-36 weeks gestation.
Keri posted a photo of Dahlia latching on to the breast on the Facebook page Breastfeeding Mama Talk.
"This was me and my girl today. Our first time as well! She is 4 weeks today. Born at 28 weeks. Water broke at 21 weeks…
“This was me and my girl today. Our first time as well! She is 4 weeks today. Born at 28 weeks,” Keri writes.
Although Dahlia remains in NICU in Washington, USA, she is expected to go home soon. And, despite being born three months early, the little one has never needed oxygen and appears healthy in every way.
As Keri explains below her photo, “Dahlia is proving everyone wrong!”
The family, who also have two other children, have started a GoFundMe page to keep followers updated on their “small but mighty” little girl.
Make sure you also check out our feature on the little girl who was born at 22 weeks gestation as well as our post on the importance of skin-to-skin contact, especially for premature infants.