With E’s jaundice scare, I decided to start expressing milk. N had been required to take formula and I was not able to express enough milk to match the formula requirement. So I wanted to be prepared and in case E was going to be put under phototherapy and be required to take formula, I wanted to make sure that I had enough stored milk to match the formula requirement.
I started expressing milk, once a day, on new year’s day. Luckily, at his 2-week check-up, the pediatrician said that E’s color was much better and no phototherapy was required. Thus, I was able to stock up on milk and by the end of January, I had about 100 ounces stored.
I don’t keep my frozen milk for more than a month so I decided to donate about half of my stock. I posted on the Human Milk for Human Babies webpage and was referred to a family who had a chronically ill daughter. The daughter was in serious condition about three years ago and was given breastmilk. Recently, the daughter had 2 surgeries which severely impacted her immune system, leaving her unable to tolerate anything, resulting to a significant drop in weight.
I called the mom and she got teary eyed. Apparently, she just requested a friend to post the message and in about 2 days, I replied with an offer of about 50 ounces. We talked on Friday and the mom came to pick up the milk on Saturday – she lived about 1 hour away. About 2 days later, I received this email from her:
Yesterday, when my daughter took your milk her hands got warm andher stomach was not only able to accept the milk but it started feeling better. The life force in this milk was miraculous. You have truly given us the greatest of gifts.
Breast milk is truly wonderful and it is really a gift without parallel. With N, I was able to donate to twins, triplets, orphanages, hospitals, milk bags, etc. etc. and I hope to continue doing so with baby E.
I’d like to redirect you to this post entitled “Enough is Enough” by my carnival co-host Mec. It is not your obligation to donate your breastmilk. As Mec said, it is better for you to have quality time with your baby and other kids, rather than spend your time pumping. For this nursling, I am lucky that I am able to express milk quickly and have excess milk to donate. I am also preparing to go back to work in about 2 weeks, which is why I am continuing to pump once a day to collect milk for my first day back.