Baby Who Learned to Nurse at 4 Months Gives Hope to Moms Having Trouble Breastfeeding

nursing Here's an inspiring story for moms who are having trouble breastfeeding: One mother finally got her baby to latch on after he turned four months old. Yep, this incredible mama pumped and gave her sweet babe breastmilk from a bottle the first few months of his life, because the little guy wasn't able to nurse.

But then one day, he just ... did.

Huffington Post recently ran a beautiful piece on a woman named Emily, who's baby was born with an "aortic valve that was almost completely closed". Emily's son, who's a perfectly healthy toddler now, was in the hospital for the first five weeks of his life, hooked up to machines. And because he desperately needed to gain weight, Emily was instructed to mix formula with his pumped breastmilk.

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This woman's story is amazing. She describes her role and routine during the first few weeks of her child's life, saying: "Pumping, in one way, gave me a sense of being useful, because it was the only thing I could do for him. But I also felt the need to be present. He was hooked up to all these monitors, and I couldn't hold him. I felt like I needed to be sitting by his bassinet all the time, with my hands on him, but pumping meant that I had to walk through this huge ICU to go get the pump, bring it back to his room, pump, bring it back out again, wash all the pump parts ... and do that every two hours."

Eventually, after Emily and her son were able to go home, she got the okay to breastfeed, but sadly, her son had nipple confusion and would cry when she presented him with her breast. Emily began sleeping skin-to-skin with her baby and that's what she credits as the thing that helped him nurse. Emily's son gradually began nursing during the night, and then everything changed. Emily was able to breastfeed her son, like she always wanted to. He's now almost 2 1/2-years-old, and he's still nursing. Emily is also expecting her second child.

I don't know how many mothers would do what Emily did. I definitely don't think I would have. Her commitment to breastfeeding is amazing, and it gives hopes to new moms who are having trouble nursing. It may not be working out as you hope now, but there's a very good chance that, eventually, it will. And for moms who feel guilty for not nursing, here's something interesting Emily said: She doesn't feel like nursing is the thing that "bonded" her with her son. "The big difference I felt with our son in terms of bonding wasn't really pre-latch and post-latch; it was pre-bringing him home from the hospital and post bringing him home," she said. "Before he came home, he wasn't really my baby. Other people were taking care of him." Such an interesting point. You never really think about it that way, but yes. Everything changes when you bring your little one home. He or she really does become "yours" then.

I thought this mama's story was an interesting one, and one worth sharing. I mean, a baby who first latches on at 4 months? That's pretty incredible. And it can only bring hope to moms who are starting to feel completely defeated.

Did you have any problems breastfeeding?


Image via fifikins/Flickr



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ktobin2 ktobin2

I would've given up!

Torra... TorranceMom

It took my son & I three months to get the hang of breastfeeding. We worked with the best IBCLC in our town, we practiced, I pumped and three months later, something just clicked and he ended up nursing for 3+ years. My daughter wasn't any easier. I couldn't latch her properly & ended up damaging my left nipple so badly that I had to have surgery on it (twice). We worked things out around the two month mark and at 2 1/2 years old, she's still going strong. Nursing might be natural but it sure isn't easy!

nonmember avatar Sophie

It took my daughter five months to nurse and get enough milk with me having to pump and suppliment and then 8 months til no pain. She had an undiagnosed tongue tie. Worth it!

nonmember avatar Lauren

My son is almost 4 months old and is still not able to successfully breastfeed. A few weeks ago, he was finally able to latch on. Even though he will stay on for almost an hour and I am able to produce 3 ounces every 3 hours, which is the amount he consumes from the bottle, he just isn't getting enough out for the energy he is expending. Like Emily's child, he spent his first weeks of life in the NICU. I had just about given up on trying to breastfeed. Maybe there is still hope.

youth... youthfulsoul

Ditto. My son was premature and in NICU and hadnt been able to breastfeed either at first. While I always had to supplement, he also learned how to breastfeed at 1 month old.

Jespren Jespren

My first was a NICU graduate after 32 days. He had expressed milk in the NICU but once we got home we started trying to nurse before every bottle of expressed milk (then I would pump while he had his bottle after our non-successful nursing sessions). it took two weeks and a 48 hour stay over with my mom, but nursing wasn't seen an as option in our family, it's just how you feed a baby. So we managed to successfuly make the switch to 'straigh from the tap'. It was a long 2 weeks, and it would have been hellish to do that for 3 months, but worth it in the long run, absolutely!

nonmember avatar 1000islandmama

My son was in the NICU for the first 4 days. He was hooked up to machines and had an IV in his head. With all of that, his NICU nurse was willing to try anything to get him to nurse on his own. Unfortunately our hospital's lactation support does not employ anyone for the NICU over the weekend. As if babies don't arrive after 5 o'clock on Friday! So she (the NICU nurse) and I did everything we could... No matter what we tried we just couldn't get everything where it needed to be all at the same time. So I pumped and pumped and pumped the whole weekend. And half an hour before discharge on Tuesday the Lac Lady strolled in...As if she was a gift from above. I was so mad and so ready to take my healthy boy home. I asked her to leave... He and I would figure it out at home. And we did, 2 WEEKS later!!! Doesn't matter, I would have kept on pumping but it was so much easier once we started nursing. We all do what we think is best, and breast is best for mine!

Jesi Sucku

My daughter is almost 8 months and I have been pumping exclusively since day two or three. Her jaundice made her really lethargic and she couldn't stay awake at the breast. The nurses forced me to supplement with formula (even though I was pumping an insane amount of colostrum and even the staff said it was a crazy amount) and then she never latched again after that. I cried for weeks about not being able to breastfeed. I would try and try to get her to latch and she would scream and I would cry because she wanted nothing to do with it. Through it all, I kept pumping. I still pump every 4-5 hours around the clock. It's a pain, it's hard and I would still give anything to breastfeed, but at the end of the day I am producing milk. Therefore there is absolutely no reason I shouldn't keep giving it to her. Being a parent is about making sacrifices and doing what's best, not what's easy, for our child. I'd pump for another ten years before I'd quit and give her formula instead. As long as I'm producing, she'll be getting my milk, regardless of the way she gets it. 

nonmember avatar Crystal

We had a lot of trouble breastfeeding, much like this woman. We had a baby in the NICU for 2 weeks, and a mom who was trying to recover after a very difficult pregnancy and delivery. I tried using nipple shields and kept trying to latch, but nothing worked. We eventually did exclusive pumping with the constant tries to latch. Finally, around 2 months old, my son latched on, and it was glorious. I could snuggle him at night and enjoy was breastfeeding was supposed to be. We still used pumped milk mostly since I worked, but when I was home, we latched. Never give up. Some babies just need time to grow.

ktobin2 ktobin2

Breast feeding until a child is a three year old? I just think that's very strange. If I'm able to breast feed and I like it, I'll stop at a year, but most likely I won't breast feed. I heard it takes a bad toll on the breasts.

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