12/24/2014 Happy Christmas Eve to all who celebrate. This Christmas Eve, in addition to a feast and precious time with family, I’m hoping to celebrate by giving… a freezer full of frozen breast milk.
I was a low supply mama, who battled like crazy for my first few months to breastfeed. I’ll spare the details here, but my baby and I went through challenge after new challenge, every week, for her first few months. We had to start supplementing with formula starting when she was just 4-weeks-old, after she lost weight one week.
I never thought I’d somehow end up with over 100 ounces of breast milk to give away.
My goal was to nurse for 9 months, which was the end of August. I’d read so much about the benefits of breast milk though, and by mid-summer I was pretty sad about the idea of not giving her these benefits anymore. So, even though I was still a low-supply mama, I pumped a couple of times each day and built up a substantial freezer supply. My plan was that after I weaned I’d still have a few ounces each day that I could give her until she turned one.
But, then it came time to stop nursing her.
By then breast feeding was great, though. It solved every problem. Hungry? Nurse her. Tired? Nurse her down. Needing comfort? Nurse her.
I wasn’t working anymore, so it wasn’t a hassle to keep up. Breast milk was good for her. And I was so sad about stopping. So, I decided not to stop. I dropped a couple of feeds/pumps, but kept going.
She still got some breast milk every day, but it was straight from the tap. I made it until she turned one and finally stopped.
I still have that freezer full of breast milk and she sometimes will drink a few ounces of it, but she just doesn’t like the frozen milk. I’ve been trying to get around to giving it to her. We still want to encourage weight gain, though, so I’m just not really making progress on using up our freezer stash.
One of my friends had a huge over-supply, and she was able to donate some of her milk to a mom with two very young adopted babies. The babies may not have gotten the benefits of breast milk, if not for my friend. What a beautiful gift.
So, hopefully my milk can help another baby, who really needs it. My little baby got her milk for a whole year—the antibodies, the ear infection prevention, the bonding, and the comfort. I’m so proud we made it for that long.
I’m sad to give away our liquid gold, but I’m doing it. Tonight I posted on Facebook’s Human Milk for Human Babies.
I’d like to think that this is beautiful timing for donating my milk to someone. I’d love to offer this gift this Christmas to another family, who’s just starting out. That family may be tackling any number of challenges that my mommy friends and I were facing a year ago.
Maybe I can help.
I’d love for my liquid gold to make someone else’s Christmas even more special and to help someone else’s baby to maybe have a slightly healthier first year.
12/26/2014: I just gave it all away! Right after I posted my article on the Mama Lovejoy Facebook page, several people tagged a mom, saying they knew someone who needed the breast milk. That mom followed up with me, and they only live about 15 minutes from me. So, I just gave the milk to her husband. I think it was probably 200 oz. My frozen milk will be going to 3-week-old premie twin boys! They born via a surrogate who can’t pump. I feel like it will matter to these little boys. I’m so happy to be able to help them.
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