Sharing the milk ~~ My story

Have you heard the saying ” Sharing is Caring”? Most of us learned this saying at a very young age, usually even before we start school. While this lovely mantra has been ingrained into our brains, many use it now with a mocking tone. This is unfortunate but sharing something with someone is a wonderful way to show how you care. There are many thing we can share in this world, but what would you say if I said you could share a gift of amazing nutrition with another? Most people would jump at the opportunity to share nutrition with someone, even more so for a baby.  Would you be shocked if I told you that people simply don’t do it. They don’t share with the babies, at least not many. They used to, but with the medical system we have been scared out of it. I’m talking about breast milk, it is a life supporting freely flowing source that comes out of almost every women, to one extent or another. Some women produce large amounts, some produce less. I was very fortunate to be a women who produced excessive milk. So much milk I needed to pump off for comfort reasons. with my first two I saved the milk. We used some of it eventually, but a lot just got old an went into the garbage. This saddened me but I had no idea what to use it for. It was never enough for milk banks, and I felt fundamentally opposed to the sale of my breast milk when I gave it to them for free. About two years ago, I heard about a wonderful Idea I hadn’t ever though of, giving the milk to a mom in need!  That way I could give what I had and she could use it, no matter how much or how little I had. This made my heart fill with so much happiness. I at the time didn’t have any milk to donate, due to being pregnant, but I loved watching the milky love flow.

Cael at 16 days

After I had Cael once again I had a surplus of milk. So I did what I had been doing with the previous two, I pumped. I didn’t pump all that often but I still had a pretty good storage in my freezer.  When Cael was 15 days old my friend had a baby, he ended up being a very big surprise. R was born with Downs Syndrome, He was a tiny little guy that had a whole world to conquer. We soon found out that he had a heart issue and feeding at the breast was exhausting for him, it took too much work and was strenuous. My friend then planned on pumping but between R and his older brother there just never seemed to be enough hours in a day. I spoke with her and asked what their plans were, she expressed frustration to me that she felt like she had no options. They couldn’t afford the milk bank but she wasn’t able to pump. She knew with all his health issue being on breast milk was going to be what would be best but it just seemed like it wouldn’t work. I took a deep breathe and offered she all I could. I told her I would give R my milk if she would have it. I really wasn’t sure what the response was going to be, we hadn’t ever talked about milk sharing before, in any real depth. What was just a few short seconds felt like forever. She said sure, she wanted to clear it with her hubby first but she would be more than happy to accept my gift.I breathed a sigh of relief, because what I was offering was something very unusual to many people After that I also sourced donors for her using the Human Milk 4 Human Babies Facebook groups.

milky brothers Left is R. right is Cael

Having breast milk turned out to be the greatest gift for R. after surgeries he has recovered much better then he did when he was having formula. His mom said she really noticed a difference in him when he is on breast milk or formula. He would gain weight and maintain better when he was having breastmilk, R would thrive with his momma milk. Time has passed and he is now reaching 18 months and my heart still smile thinking how we were able to help just one little guy. I know that he is doing better due to the nutrition I and several other moms were able to give. Not to mention the money we helped them save 🙂

This week is the 2nd Annual World MilkSharing Week. It is due to moms reaching out and helping on another that many many many babies have been able to have the nutrition they needed for their start in life. They were able to be fed from another mom when circumstances prevented their own mother from fully providing milk. With full disclosure and trust women are able to share this gift with others all around the world. I think this is truly amazing. There is a saying that it takes a village to raise a child, why not use the village to feed the child as well.