By: Angela Brown Sanelle
Hello! I want to share my milk-sharing story!
Amelia was born March 30, and I was anticipating problems nursing because I knew ahead of time that I had inverted nipples. She couldn’t get latched at all the first three days, and after several meetings with a lactation consultant I was given a nipple shield to use. Looking back, I wish I would have tried harder to get her to latch directly, but I guess the shield was our best option at that point. I’d try to get her to nurse as much as she could, and then we used a tube and syringe to supplement every two hours using milk I had pumped. Around week three she started crying nonstop… for days. We couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Because she wasn’t back up to birthweight at that point, our pediatrician told us to start supplementing with formula. I had a very difficult time with that, but I realized that week that I wasn’t producing enough milk, and that she was basically starving. She was 5 weeks old before she got back up to birth weight. She struggled with colic, and reflux, and was super sensitive to every formula we tried… we finally ended up on a non-dairy, non-soy, predigested formula, and the first ingredient was corn syrup solids. I hated that I was stuck giving that crap to my baby and felt so guilty that I hadn’t been able to produce enough to nurse her sufficiently. At this point I was still nursing her, and then supplementing directly after. I wasn’t sure if something in my diet was bothering her, so I started cutting things out and ended up on a diet of chicken and rice for awhile.
A friend told me about Human Milk 4 Human Babies, and I was so desperate at that point I might have tried anything. Our first donor was a lady in LA, and I drove two hours each way to pick it up. What an amazing gift!!! Amelia being on a diet of 100% breast milk helped her to turn a corner. She started putting on weight, she was happier and less cranky, and her colic and reflux issues disappeared. Several people pointed out that she could have just grown out of the colic and the reflux, but I think its too coincidental that she got better as soon as we put her on all breast milk. I’m still nursing, and still pumping, and can provide for her about 1/4 of what she needs daily. Due to the generosity of ladies on this board, I’ve been able to continue feeding Amelia solely breastmilk for the majority of the time. I had to go back to formula for a couple days when our supply ran out once, and the crankiness returned - coincidence? I think not!
I know that God gives to us evenly so that we can share in the joy of both giving and receiving… it’s joyful to give, but I’ve learned humility and thankfulness in receiving, and have been incredibly blessed by those who have given. I’m ever grateful for this amazing gift that has bettered my daughter’s life! My daughter is almost 6 mos old, and I’ve been fortunate enough to receive donations from several women. Knowing that we can provide her with breast milk due to the amazing generosity of mommies with extra is the hugest blessing ever… I don’t have words to describe how thankful we are!!!
World Milksharing Week: http://www.worldmilksharingweek.org/
Find a breastmilk donor/recipient: Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB)