Healing through Milk Donation
Sarah Long, IBCLC, Clinical Coordinator, The Milk Bank
Far too often, the mom calling us for information about breastmilk donation has just gone through an unimaginable experience; the loss of a child. A child their body had planned to care for, to nurture. A baby, who might have spent some time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and a mom who likely had worked very hard to ensure her baby has the best; breast milk.
When that baby is gone, it can be difficult for a mom to know what to do with what milk she might have left over. Her body will likely take some time to adjust to her baby being gone. Breast milk donation can help a grieving mother to have a reason to pump. Donation can help a family feel as though something good can come from their heartbreak.
“Donating filled my heart with such excitement and joy because I knew I was helping these fragile little preemies in honor of my sweet son.”
– Sheri Rukavina on donating after the loss of her son.
We strive to make becoming a Milk Donor after the loss of a child as easy as possible. We do not require a minimum donation for a bereavement donor but do ask that they submit to our screening process and communicable disease testing if they would like for their donation to be used for inpatients. If the screening and testing are too much for a bereavement donor, we will accept their donation for research. Either way, their milk donations are important and potentially life changing.
In an effort to support a grieving family, we are lucky to have a partner in Amēda, who has given us three hospital grade pumps that we are able to lend to a mom who does not have access to a pump and needs one. These pumps have allowed us to provide even more convenience to a family.
If you know a family who had recently experienced a loss and would like more information about becoming a milk donor, we are happy to speak to them. We can be reached at 877.829.7470 or there is more information here.
We want to hear from you. Has becoming a Milk Donor helped you through the loss of a child?