Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

WMW- Tuesday's Milksharing stories!

Today I read 4 wonderful stories about milk sharing from two different blogs- "Gilligan's All Natural Island" & "The Crunchy Side of Me".

Carlie, author of "Gilligan's All natural Island" writes about her journey to inducing lactation for her new born adoptive daughter in her article "Adoptive Breastfeeding".

"At first, I didnt get anything out. Not even a drop. I was a little stressed, but all along I told myself not to have any expectations. After a few days of pumping, I started getting drops..then we got the call that the baby was going to be born!..We jumped on a plane to NYC, ready to meet our baby. Since I didnt have much time to pump (protocol calls for 1 month to build up milk supply), we took a cooler full of donated breast milk with us. Trying to educate ourselves on how to pack it, and finding a place to stay with a full size freezer is a whole other story in itself. Somehow, someway, everything totally fell into place.
I continued pumping every 3 hours, taking my domperidone, and herbs. We were unsure of how the hospital was going to go, we assumed the baby would get formula for a few days, and then hopefully be able to switch over to breastmilk. Well, Hallie's birthmom graciously decided to breastfeed her for the first 3 days of life, so it made the transition very smooth. She knew exactly what to do when I nursed her for the first time. (in the bathroom of the hospital lobby, while waiting on our car to arrive:)
I quickly realized once we got her back to our rented NYC apt and settled, that she was not satisfied with what she was getting. So, we pulled out the good ol' SNS. Supplemental Nursing System. Its a device where you put the breast milk in a container, then you attach these 2 small tubes to the breast with a piece of soft tape, and the baby sucks. That way they are still nursing at the breast, but getting more than what the breast can provide.
It worked great! Joe was such a good helper. He would get it set up every single time, warm the milk, and just do whatever he could...I would nurse Hallie Rose (we joked it was her appetizer), while he got the SNS all set up. We worked as a team. Hallie was doing great and so was I. Jalen was definitely exposed to alot of things(boobs) he had never seen or known about. He did great and has learned alot though."

HERE to read the entire article.

And Carlie continues her story about feeding her daughter donated breastmilk in her article "MilkSharing":

"I pump twice a day, and usually get about 6-8 oz each time (see my entry on adoptive breast feeding). All of her other feedings are that of donated breast milk from generous women in our area.
We have a deep freezer FULL of it!!
I know, some of you are thinking, "thats gross", or "what about the risks involved"?
To those people, I would ask, "do you think it's gross to drink milk that was expressed out of a cow"?..An animal of which is not even close to the size of a human, and who's milk is made for baby cow's.
And "do you not think there is a risk in feeding your baby formula, of which was made in a factory, and has been recalled numerous times because of infant DEATHS,  bug particles found in the formula, and tons of other negative aspects to it"?
To be honest, in our opinion (and the opinion of LOTS of other women and men out there), the benefits of feeding our baby donated breast milk,  far out weigh the risk.
These women who donate, **do not ask for a dime**. They do it solely out of the kindness of their hearts.
They are feeding the same milk to their own baby, and most of them are VERY health conscience.
A Dr's screening is provided, if requested by the recipient, showing that the donor mother does not have any illnesses, and is healthy.
I feel very confident we are doing the right thing by giving our daughter donated milk. She is very healthy and happy."

HERE to read the entire article

The Second blog I read today is from "The Crunchy Side of Me" .  The first article is Amber' story of how she struggled with fertility issues due to PCOS, and then began the rocky road to nursing her twin daughters , over coming all obstacles and not only succeeding in breastfeeding them both, but became a Breast Milk Donor for two other babies!!!! 

"My girls turned one year and I still had this crazy stash of milk. I was so afraid it would go unused. I just wanted all my hard work to be for good. My girls were still being breastfed and I knew they would never use what was left. I was producing exactly what they needed and we didn't ever need all the pumped milk. I posted on Human milk for Human babies and found a 4.5mo old in need. I donated the remaining 110 bags. Her mom breastfeeds her but needs to supplement as well. She didn't want to use formula and was desperate to find her baby breastmilk. Another bonus was that the remaining bags were all dairy free because my girls had a dairy sensitivity early on. Her daughter did as well. We were a perfect match! Her mom is so sweet and lets me know that her daughter is thriving on my milk. She says its such a relief to open her freezer and see that her daughter will be fed.
I am so proud of what I have accomplished when the odds were so against me. My twins are 17 months and breastfeeding is still going strong. I get many comments from people wondering when we will wean and to be honest we have no end date! My girls are so healthy and I'm just so thankful of what my body has been able to do. I always felt like my body let me down with all my infertility issues but now I feel like some how I beat it all. I have nourished not only my twins but two other babies. I am so happy that I have been able to do this and only wish I could do more! I always share my story with others because I would love to break the taboo of milksharing. To be honest I would have never thought of donated breastmilk for my girls in the beginning...I probably would have gone to formula. Ick.  I love how women can unite and help one another. It's time to break the silence and bring back what was done since the start of time."

HERE to read the entire article "Nourishing Her Twins and Two Other Babies!"

Having enjoyed reading the first article on The Crunchy Side of Me so much I decided to peruse their page and read this next story.....and I strongly suggest a tissue or two!  Erin's story is one that resonated with me so strongly, because her experience mirrored what I went through with my youngest son: Tongue Tie and the massive drop in milk production that follows when the babies latch just isn't right.  Erin's story of her fight to help her baby boy Gryphon gain weight and get a REAL diagnosis for his latch issue is inspiring!!!

"The next week he had a 2 mos check up and I brought up the tongue tie again, I said "Look, I know you said that he doesn't have it, but I think he does. Our symptoms match up, I mean EVERYTHING matches up, and from what I've been reading you can't base your complete diagnosis on JUST the appearance of the tongue, but you have to look at the mother baby pair, the mother's nipples (mine are flat) and their experiences." She said, "No, he doesn't have one, I think there might be something wrong in his esophagus because he's not really sucking well from the bottle either. I will give him a barium swallow test with speech so they can look at his mouth just to tell you that it's fine."  I was okay with this, because surely they would see that his mouth was NOT fine, and then I got the referral... barium w/out speech. I had had it with her. I was done, unfortunately at this point so was my milk, so I reached out to other Mamas on facebook, and immediately that night I had 40 oz of donated frozen breast milk and the link to HM4HB. I wasted no time in posting, and was instantly rewarded with another 150 oz of donated breast milk. Through the networks I was able to find a short term "Milk Mama" for my little boy.
On human milk by son thrived, and grew and became happy and healthy and gained weight, LOTS of it very fast. In three weeks he'd gone from 8 lbs 6 oz, to 11 lbs!! He has since continued to receive donor milk from Mamas all along the east coast, we've driven to get milk, we've had milk shipped to us and we've even tried wet nursing. Through HM4HB I gained a whole lot more than just breast milk, I got my son back, I gained a whole network of friends; supportive, loving and wonderful amazing women who are selfless in donating to make sure that MY son is healthy and that he is getting what I cannot provide for him. As of today, my son is 4 mos old and weighs about 14 lbs. During all this time I never stopped fighting to get him the help that he needed for his tongue and when he was 14 weeks old we were finally able to find a doctor who would clip it (after two peds, three states, four lactation consultants and a conversation with Dr. Kotlow in Albany NY)." 
Gryphon starting to thrive on breastmilk - Left 7 weeks & Right 10 weeks

 Please click HERE to read all of Erin's wonderful story in "Thriving due to donor milk" on "The Crunchy Side of Me"

I hope you enjoyed these stories!  If you have your own story about a personal adventure into the land of milksharing, feel free to tell me about it! Leave a comment here and I'll get in touch with you asap!! I'd love to post it here as we continue to celebrate World MilkSharing Week!!!!

For more information about World Milksharing Week please go to

And for more information about donor breastmilk- either as a donor or a recipient- please go to: