Donor Milk

Who would have ever thought that I, the human milk machine, would ever be writing a post from the recipient side of milk donation?

In 2007 I donated a small amount of milk to two different babies. Not a lot, but still, some. In 2009 I donated over 2000 ounces to several babies. I had laundry baskets full of frozen milk inside the deep freezer. It was ridiculous.

My supply was one thing I was never concerned with, however, Ava was losing weight and we needed to up her intake since she was only processing a small portion of what she was taking in. Unlike the majority of parents, I didn’t jump to formula as my second option, but sought out donor milk. Ava has been able to receive milk donations from four amazing women, two of them possibly continuing. For this, we are more thankful than anyone can imagine.

In the few weeks she has been supplemented with donor milk she has gained over a pound. She’s happier. She babbles. She smiles. She’s more interactive. I’m convinced it’s helping, and if it helps us avoid the gtube, then I’m all for it.

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I am Samantha. I am twenty years old, and have a gorgeous little girl, and a baby boy who I am expecting in May. I am married to my best friend in the entire world. I am a full time student, and am torn between pursuing a career as a midwife, or going to medical school to become an obstetrician.

6 thoughts on “Donor Milk”

  1. I’m sure you thought of this but maybe its not your supply, maybe its the method of delivery. Maybe Ava does better getting her food from a bottle than from the breast? Maybe you don’t need donor milk, maybe you just need to express your amazing milk and give it to her in a bottle?

    I’m so glad to hear that she is doing better with the extra nourishment! It must be so much easier to take care of a happy baby.

    1. We had tried it previously, but for some reason, I get even less when I try to pump. Pumping renders only a few drops (on any setting, with any of my pumps). I’m going to keep giving her donor milk as long as she continues to improve (and as long as I have access to it). Right now, she’s hoving at 11.5lbs, but we’re hoping we can get her to 15 pounds by new years!

  2. Hi Samantha,

    My son had Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and you are on the right track. Babies with CP burn calories faster than those without due to the high muscle tone in their body. I was the same way, my son had a G-tube because he could not suck or swallow, but I refused to have him completely dependent on formula or pediasure. I actually gave him cooked foods pureed into his g-tube. It was a lot of work making sure he had enough of everything that he needed but it was worth it. You are doing great!

  3. When I pumped, it was hard for me to get milk out of my breasts, too. My let-down reflex just won’t come for the pump… What worked for me and my babies was hand expressing some milk into their mouths while they were suckling, and pumping right after nursing, when the let-down reflex was still somewhat there.

    So glad you found donor milk! Hang in there…

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