Thursday, September 26, 2013

Donating Breastmilk

Alicia supports sharing breastmilk
 I've donated my breastmilk.  Not that EG couldn't eat it, or didn't need it, but because someone else did.  That someone else was my Sister-in-Law's daughter, born in April just before EG in June.

Daughter #5 for my sister-in-law (SIL) is an adorable, high energy little pumpkin, so sweet.  However, since birth she's had a hard time nursing.  Something just wasn't working quite properly for momma and baby.  And let me tell you, this woman knows how to do it right.  She's nursed 4 other little ones until they were 18months old.  She's been dedicated through surgery for herself, hospitalized procedures for one of her little ones, and other challenges.

Did I mention that she's allergic to milk?  Not just intolerant, but allergic.  Two of her little ones are two. 

When I heard from her that she was having issues with nursing her little one, I knew that I could help.  I had been building up a freezer stash of milk for quite a time. (which came in handy while working, and is still feeding EG today).  So, I took some and sent it down to her.

And her daughter refused to drink it.  Imagine that, she didn't want my breastmilk, she wanted her mothers.  She could taste the differences in my diet from my sister-in-laws, and only wanted what her mother produced.  Luckily I have one smart SIL, she started mixing the milk she pumped with my milk.  Together, we ensured that things worked out for Daughter #5.

Lots of people think this is weird.  My own sister, who started supplementing with formula for my only nephew, thought that it was inappropriate and potentially dangerous.  Yes, breastmilk is a bodily fluid.  Yes, it's possible for it to transmit diseases, just like blood.

You know what, I would take blood for myself, EG, or Working Dad from my SIL without hesitating.  Without testing, or confirming, anything.  Think World War Z, or the Walking Dead.  Forget that, I would do it tomorrow.

It's up to each person.  With my history of donating, I was contacted by a friend of a friend about producing milk for her son, who can't eat anything (he chokes on regular milk, and all purees).  Milk banks charge a lot, and her son has medical need.  I have to be honest though, now that I'm not pumping as much, I feel like it's so much harder.  This time instead of it being 'stealing candy from a baby' it's trying to 'get milk from a stone.'

Either way, I still support sharing milk.  Do it safely, to your own comfort level.  Like all other things, to each his own.

Please don't think this means I think formula is evil.  It's not.  I was raised on formula.  To each his own!

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