Breastfeeding Through Hydrocephalus and Cleft Palate {A Mother’s Devotion}

by Birth Without Fear on June 16, 2013

Christine Curry of Storyteller Photography writes:

“This is Ellie. She was born with hydrocephalus, a cleft palate and a myriad of other issues. Because of her condition, she was never able to naturally breast feed. But that didn’t stop Ellie’s mom, who wanted to give her all she could. You see, Teresa pumped her breast milk … every day.. for EVERY feed… for over a year to give to her daughter. Although Ellie could not suckle at the breast, she was still able to receive the best her mother had to offer.

Update No. 1: Ellie was released from feeding therapy. She has been learning to take solid food by mouth for the past few months. Her mother has been diligently practicing with her and she’s gaining sufficient weight. Her doctors and specialists will now be moving towards removing her G Tube altogether!

Baby Ellie   Pumped Milk   Sleeping babe   Challenges in Breastfeeding  

Storyteller Photography-1-109



Update No. 2: here she is as a thriving two year-old!





{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Virginia June 17, 2013 at 8:39 pm

You go mama!! It takes great devotion to pump for your baby for so long but you have given her such a great start!! she is beautiful!!


Esther June 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Omigosh, she is such a beautiful, beautiful little child.
Big well done to her Mummy, that was love and devotion indeed – I know how hard pumping breast milk can be- look what it’s done for Ellie.
Thank you for sharing your story and the gorgeous pics of such a lovely wee girl.
Love to both. X


DeAnna Marler June 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm

SHE. IS. ADORABLE! What a great story! Love the determination, mama! An inspiration for sure…


Candace June 18, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Though I tried for 3 months, my son and I could never get a good latch and I was in terrible pain with each feeding. I finally decided to pump. It is hard work but worth every minute, and knowing my son gets nothing but breast milk from Mom. I wish more people understood that there is a 3rd option! It’s not just nursing or formula!


Shane June 19, 2013 at 1:43 am

I agree, and he sure is benefitting from your determination. I’ve been learning about tongue and lip ties. This is a personal question, but I’m curious if anyone you might’ve talked to asked to check your son? My midwife and me have an ongoing discussion about whether they are becoming more common or simply more diagnosed.


Candace June 21, 2013 at 10:34 am

We did have a tongue tie revised, and according to the Dr. it healed well but nothing changed with his latch. We also checked on an upper lip tie and were told he does not have one.


Bethe June 18, 2013 at 5:23 pm

Lovely story. GORGEOUS baby. Congrats Momma!


Jenny June 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm

Holy moly! she is sooooo cute! little Miss Chevious, she looks like trouble, in the best cutest sense of the word!


Jen June 19, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Beautiful story! You gave your baby an amazing gift!!!


Christine Miskinis June 20, 2013 at 7:10 am

Hi ,

I love your work and level of service towards our Breastfeeding-Community!

I think your values are a perfect fit for the Holistic Moms community that I service.

I am organizing a Video Summit themed,

“BREASTFEEDING REVOLUTION: Discover the Secrets to The Art of Blissful Breastfeeding ” and I would very much like to invite you to be a speaker in this event.

Do you do interviews?


Christine Miskinis
Holistic Moms Health Coach

P.S. All interviews will be pre-recorded to make it easier on your schedule!


Renee June 21, 2013 at 9:29 am

God bless you both. Ellie is BEAUTIFUL~


Sharolyn June 21, 2013 at 11:24 am

This little gal steals my heart every time I see a picture of her. What an incredible testimony! God bless.


Theresa June 21, 2013 at 11:55 am

WTG! What a great example and inspiration… and beautiful photos too!


Teresa Gaynor June 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

This is my Ellie! She is a miracle rainbow baby! We lost a daughter to CDH a year before we had Ellie. When we found out she was going to have different issues it did not change that I was GOING to breastfeed! I have breadtfed all 4 of my babies but 3 were indirectly because of different issues but the issues didnt stop me! Pumping is ridiculously hard but not impossible. It is a constant battle to keep your supply up, stay hydrated, keep frequency of pumping up, and stay motivated to do it. I love this blog and the support it offers! Thank you for all the amazing encouraging comments!


Fiona June 21, 2013 at 1:44 pm

It’s great hearing stories about other women pumping for their child instead of completely giving up after a bad start. My son would not latch due to many reasons but mostly because the health system failed me. I have been pumping for him every 3-5 hours for the last 13 months and no thoughts about stopping. I felt it was important for him to have my breast milk while I tried to latch him (for 9 months lol). Even though my family thinks I’m crazy for “putting myself through this” I know it’s worth it as long as it makes me happy and my baby healthy.


Melaine June 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

What an awesome mom giving her baby the best opportunity for a healthy start in life! Selfless and loving in the face of much opposition and difficulty! You’re an inspiration for all! So proud of these mommas and blessed babies!


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