Sunday, July 27, 2014

World Breastfeeding Week!!! (and the pump gets retired)


It has been a nice little rest without any blog posts since March, but I felt that I just had to come out of hiding for the World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) Blog Hop! And WBW is coincidentally beginning at the same time that Yours Truly is storing away her pump, so what better topic to talk about than milk sharing, which has to be one of the coolest things I've ever done.


The pump and I have had a good long run together. It relieved my discomfort to get me through my day (and some grueling workouts), and it helped me to donate thousands of ounces of milk to babies that live as far away as California. 

Every morning, for 619 mornings.

I began pumping when the twins were in the NICU after they were born 4 weeks early, and I quickly found that every morning I could easily pump between 10 and 20 ounces in one 15 minute session, even after the babies already nursed. This phenomenon never stopped. I kept waiting for the day that I could feed my guys and feel relatively relieved, but for me I always had to pump for at least a few minutes to be able to carry out my daily activities, or else I would look something like Dolly Parton and feel slightly like I couldn't breathe :/

My babies are hardly babies anymore. They have just turned 21 months old, and we are still nursing about 4 times per day. I have continued to pump once each morning every single day of their lives. Funny thing though, that milk never helped us at all. I have a high level of an enzyme called lipase in my milk, and once it has been refrigerated this enzyme gives the milk a different taste, nothing wrong with it, just different. Some babies don't mind and drink it anyway, but not mine. Unless the milk went straight into a bottle and right to them they weren't having it, and with me so close by anyway, bottle feeding just wasn't right for us.
play time and milk time....

So what did I do with the copious amounts of milk being stashed daily in my freezer? I donated it to other moms who couldn't supply the amount of milk that their baby was asking for. Through facebook, mom groups, and personal friendships I met close to 20 mothers that I was able to donate to during my days of pumping and freezing. It always felt nice knowing that I was able to give such a cool gift to someone, and I know that if I weren't able to provide enough milk for my guys I would certainly look for a local milk donor.

Tandem <3

There are plenty of mixed feelings that people get regarding milk sharing, but in my opinion it is such an awesome thing. If you are educated about breast milk and know the mother that is donating the milk (or if you are going through a milk bank which tests the milk), then I feel that it is an amazing route for anyone struggling to feed their child. If you know a nursing mom, see a nursing mom, and most importantly, are a nursing mom: be supportive. Be supportive to the mothers in your life who are feeding their children the best way that they are able to. Be supportive to the mothers that you see in public that have to stop what they are doing to feed their hungry babies. And be supportive to yourselves if you are currently nursing a child (or children!). Don't be awkward, don't think it's weird, don't make apologies, and don't beat yourself up if things don't go exactly how you planned. Life is a journey, and we're all on it together, so we might as well help each other out.

Happy nursing, happy World Breastfeeding Week, and I leave you with toddler milk comas :)

*For other blogs participating in the WBW Blog Hop please visit:
http://www.butterflybirth.com/
http://healthystartsarasota.org/blog/
http://knightpartyof4.tumblr.com/ 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Claire! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!

    ReplyDelete