gStories: What happens when you donate breast milk
Donating breast milk is becoming more and more commonplace, and not only can it save lives, but it enriches our lives too. Meet this extraordinary pair of gMums, Charlotte and Jaimey, who helped a little gBaby thrive and grow through breast milk sharing! They met in the gMum community almost seven years ago, and their milk sharing experience just brought them even closer.
Why donate breast milk?
Charlotte: I successfully breastfed my first three babies well past a year, but then when my fourth baby, Pierson, came early, he was not getting the hang of nursing. We tried everything we could. In his first three weeks, we visited lactation consultations and weight checks fifteen times. I was pumping and nursing around the clock.
The consultants finally asked me to start supplementing with formula. My heart broke. Something that had come so naturally before was now not working. At two weeks my baby was down to five pounds eight ounces and was not gaining daily. At one month he was only back at his birth weight of six pounds one ounce. We had to do something.
I put out a plea for breast milk donations on Facebook, and Jaimey offered that she would pump as much as she could while she was still nursing her fourth baby. Any pumping mama knows that it is a time commitment and an act of love!
Jaimey: I offered right away, not only because she is a very good friend of mine, but I know she would do the same for me. Charlotte is passionate about breastfeeding, and I knew I could help her family in that small way.
gBaby Pierson successfully drinking donated breast milk.
Breast Milk Sharing Benefits
Charlotte: He started to gain weight again and eventually stabilized on his growth chart. It was a long road of getting him caught up, but those first months when it mattered most, I felt so loved to have the support of a friend and her donor milk. I am so grateful to gDiapers and the gMum community that brought us together, and then make an impact in such a big way.
Jaimey: Breast milk sharing definitely brought us closer. With both of us having four kids each, we struggle to keep up with each other’s busy daily lives. But I look at her sweet baby boy and know that I helped him to thrive, even with just a few weeks of pumped milk.
gBaby now at 24 percentile on the growth chart for weight. Peekaboo, we see you, Gift of Love gPants!
A Parent Support Group
Both Jaimey and Charlotte first met at one of the gTeas (a gMum meetup event), and keep in touch through the gCommunity on Facebook. All parents are welcome!
Jaimey: I have met some of my really good friends in the gCommunity. It is such a diverse group of women, all with the common goal of raising these little perfect beings. It gets lonely sometimes. Being able to reach out to those mamas online, at any time of day, all around the world to cheer you on, boost you up and talk you down is something I haven't seen anywhere else. I love these women. The gCommunity will always have a big piece of my heart.
Breast Milk Donation Resources
Interested in breast milk donation? Talk with your healthcare provider or hospital to learn more. And as always, join our gCommunity to ask questions, get tips, and hear other parents’ stories!