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