22nd August 2013
After giving birth to my daughter at 27 weeks, I was encouraged to start expressing my milk for her, at first I was worried that I wasn’t going to get any for her, but I was very wrong.
I was able to successfully express my breast milk for her with plenty of supplies, she was in the NICU for 77 days and had begun to take tiny amounts of milk by about the fifth, I was able to make enough milk for her that after around 60 days she had finally used all the first 14 days worth of breast milk in the freezer and was able to use fresh milk.
After filling one of the 3 freezers, and starting on the 2nd in the NICU I began to ask what would happen with all the milk that Sophie wasn’t drinking (she just couldn’t keep up!). That’s when I first heard about donating my milk to the milk bank. I was a little unsure at first as I didn’t really like my blood been taken! But then after reading about the wonderful work at the milk bank, and wanting to give something to bank to the NICU’s I decided to donate it.
The whole process was really smooth and soon the NICU had freezer space again. Sophie came home 50/50 feeding and within two weeks of coming home she was fully breast feed and having two bottles of breast milk a day, and I was still able to express milk off for donation.
After returning to work and wanting to keep Sophie on breast milk, I still express but she still can’t keep up with the supply and I’m still able to donate some milk and have enough for Sophie whilst I’m at work.
People ask me what happens to my milk when I’ve expressed it and Sophie doesn’t drink it, so I tell them it gets donated to other poorly babies that need it. To which they think is excellent, as very few people know about donating breast milk.
Being a breast milk donor makes me feel proud that I’m able to successfully feed my own daughter, and have enough to help out other people and their babies.