17th November 2017
I first heard of milk donation when I was pregnant with my second child. A friend of a friend had become a donor and written about it on a social media site. I thought it was a lovely idea and promised myself I would become a donor if I managed to breastfeed.
I had many difficulties feeding my first child Charlotte which resulted in me exclusively expressing for 12 weeks before I gave up. I hoped that I’d have it easier second time round but unfortunately I had similar problems with my second daughter Beatrix.
Following her birth we were kept in hospital for nearly a week during which she had daily visits to NICU for blood tests and scans. Whilst in there we saw very poorly babies and Mothers who were struggling to make milk for their premature or sick babies. I was fortunate that I was making plenty of milk however Beatrix was too tired and hungry to learn how to latch properly, meaning once again I needed to express full time. Fortunately we received a huge amount of support, which added with Beatrix’s determination resulted in our first breastfeed when she was 5 weeks old. Within a week she was doing so well that I was able to put my pump away for good. Initially I was happy at the freedom but then I remembered the poorly babies we had seen in NICU and the promise I’d made to myself.
The following day I got in touch with NWHMB and signed up to be a donor. I was fortunate enough to be able to donate until Beatrix was 9 months old and gave away around 10 litres of milk. I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to help others and would encourage anyone with a young baby who has excess milk to give it a go! Signing up was a simple process and it is very rewarding.