I am feeling all warm and fuzzy at the moment, after recently having had the opportunity to share some of my expressed breast milk with a mum and baby in need. This sweet little newborn girl was fresh out of hospital after arriving early and spending a bit of time in NICU as a result. She was not eligible for milk from the hospital milk bank as she thankfully recovered so quickly and mum was able to express a tiny amount. Tiny being the operative word though, this brave mama had some breast surgery years ago which damaged her milk ducts, leaving her milk production very decreased. She had done everything, and I mean everything, to increase supply and is still managing to nurse regularly but decided to use donor breastmilk to top up.
So this lovely mummy decided to contact other like minded breastfeeding mums through various local natural parenting facebook groups, with a plea for informal donations of expressed milk. I was only too happy to oblige as my freezer was groaning with all the milk I expressed for baby boy while he was in hospital. Offers flooded in from other local mums too and it looks like baby is all set for a future of guzzling breastmilk, and thriving on it already according to her mum!
Despite being a controversial subject, online informal milk sharing communities are steadily growing with sites like Eats on Feets and Human Milk for Human Babies increasing in numbers of mums requesting and donating breastmilk.
Personally, I feel incredibly humbled and honoured to share my milk with this beautiful baby. The milk was expressed at the most emotionally difficult time of my life, and seeing another baby benefiting from it felt like good coming from bad. I also realised I had been holding on to my freezer stash in case something went awry with baby boys health and he needed more surgery or tube feeding – so passing it on obviously means I am moving on a little from that anxious state of mind.
Looking at my smiley little chap, I like to think he would be very happy to share his mummies milk with another baby in need!