I found out at my 20 week ultrasound that my baby had a heart defect. After worrying, hoping and praying for 3 more weeks that is was something small our worst fear came true. A specialist muttered 4 words that I had never heard before: Hypoactive Left Heart Syndrome. This meant my baby only had the right side of his heart and a very small left side. The specialist told us that he would need a series of open heart surgeries starting at birth and going through age 3. We were devastated, we had one healthy child before this...what did we do wrong? We quickly contacted the best hospitals we could hoping to put together a game plan and a team of the best surgeons for once he was born, but little did we know the worse was yet to come. I did not get another heart echo until I was 32 weeks pregnant that is when the cardiologist discovered that our babies heart was worse off than expected. The side of his heart that was developed had an intact atrial septum meaning once he was born and my body stopped pumping blood for him he would not be able to do it on his own. The doctor gave him a 20% chance with us flying to Boston at 36 weeks and having the best team of surgeons. The doctors gave us a choice of no intervention or intervention with no guarantee of survival or quality of life. Our little Gabriel came a day before meeting with the local surgeon and before making our final decision to fly to Boston. I knew he had made the choice for us. The 81 minutes I held him were some of the hardest and happiest minutes of my life and I will love him and long for him for the rest of my life.I had planned on breastfeeding Gabriel like I breastfed my daughter, Tessa, for over a year. I made the decision before leaving the hospital that I would donate milk in his honor. It is one of the best decisions I've ever made. While it was hard to breastfeed and grieve at the same time, the actual act of expressing milk helped me fight off depression and gave me endorphins to get up each morning. The act of donating gave me a bigger purpose and my daughter witnessing this and holding my hand the whole time, I hope, helped her to learn the importance of giving. The ladies at National Milk Bank were so increasingly sensitive to my situation and so supportive and encouraging. They kept me informed the whole time during the screening process and their correspondence and kind words often made my day! I was able to donate a little over 1,245 oz in 2 months before I decided it was time to try to build our family again. I would do this all over again in a heart beat and if I am fortunate enough to get pregnant again and have more children I would gladly donate any extra milk I produce. Thank you National Milk Bank for helping me give such a beautiful gift. You all are truly wonderful with all that you ladies do. I would encourage anyone to donate, it's such a beautiful wonderful thing to do. Hope & Love
Breastfeeding was not easy for me at first, my daughter struggled with latching so I had to pump. Well I was making double if not triple what she need in a day so I started to freeze the extra. I was so happy when I found your company! I researched a few other milk banks, but I liked the way things were handled here. I'm so glad that I can help babies in need! I sent about 200 ounces my first donation and hopefully will be sending more in the future!
I wanted to thank you for being exceptional during the milk donation process. Words can not describe how blessed I feel to be a part of this opportunity.I decided when my daughter was in the NICU that I wanted to do something special to help the babies.I wasn't sure what that was going to be at the time,but I knew I wanted to help in some way. It broke my heart to see the tiniest of babies trying to thrive each day.They are so strong and amazing with today's capabilities.Then, after doing some research I came across your company and I knew right away that is this is what I want to do.I was fortunate to make enough milk for twins which allows me to donate without sacrificing my own baby's milk. And then again I was unfortunate, because my daughter can only tolerate small amounts of breast milk during each feeding along with special formula. With this said, baby Brooke would like to share my milk with other babies out there. Thank you so much and God Bless!
Despina and baby Brooke
My second son, Ryan, was born 5 1/2 weeks early and spent a month in the NICU. I had a great experience breastfeeding my first son so I was determined to do the same with Ryan. I pumped around the clock and was lucky that my supply was excellent--plenty for all of Ryan's tube feeds and enough to fill the NICU freezer as well. Thankfully he transitioned to breastfeeding in the NICU with ease and has continued to thrive at home as well. Ryan was born in Virginia but since we are a military family, we are moving to Germany at the end of May. I knew I couldn't take my 200+ ounces of frozen milk overseas with me and I hated the thought of it going to waste. Donating was the perfect solution! The process was easy, totally free, & incredibly convenient. It's such a good feeling knowing that my donated milk will be put to good use in NICUs around the country. I'm so glad I was able to give back and help other premature/sick babies in this special way.
I breastfed [my daughter] Emelia for 18 months. When she was just an infant and I had to work, I pumped while I was gone. As it turned out I had a lot of milk to share! Being new at breastfeeding and pumping, I just stored it all; afraid to let it go. It was my stash. We eventually used it all and knowing I could produce enough to stop pumping and only breastfeed at the end of her first year, felt like a super power! This time around I had so much excess from the very beginning, I decided to pump once a day, on top of the breastfeeding, to relieve myself. By the time I had to return to work, I had a freezer full of milk and nothing to do with it! I began researching Milk Banks, as my LC had mentioned something at the hospital. I came across you all and liked the mission and who it helped. I have a very healthy and round baby boy who is happy, or at least we think he is happy, to share his milk . We plan to donate as long as he nurses and are excited to begin this new journey helping others. Thank you for affording us the opportunity to help little ones in need. I know if I were on the other end of this resource, I would be most grateful and humbled.
I have really enjoyed donating my milk, knowing that my extra milk is helping others is truly special... Thank you for providing this service to those in need and for making it so that my extra milk is being put to good use!
My daughter, Haylee, was born November 19th. I struggled with breastfeeding at first. Haylee ate much more then I could possibly produce in the first few weeks. I'm so glad I stuck with it instead of giving her formula, because my production spiked significantly! I was so excited that I could finally save some milk to donate like I had always wanted to! Now, Haylee eats about 50 ounces each day and I have even more to save! I'm so blessed to produce more then my baby needs and I'm so happy to share with other mothers and babies!
Aimee Frenz and Haylee
My little girl, Faith, was born 5 weeks early and spent one week in the NICU. I pumped every 2 - 3 hours and was able to give her more than enough breast milk. She was able to start nursing immediately after being discharged from the NICU. I still was producing more milk than she could eat. I kept pumping originally to have a stash to return to work. Today I am still producing more than she can eat!!! My freezer is still overflowing with breast milk...
Breastfeeding has always been something I've felt strongly about doing, if I could, as I knew it was the best nourishment you can give to a baby. I started back at work when Reese was just a teeny 6 week old, and was very nervous about pumping enough to continue exclusively breast feeding. To my surprise, I was blessed with the ability to not only continue feeding my daughter, but to also store so much breast milk that I soon had an oversupply. I've read and heard first-hand, the struggles some mothers have with breastfeeding, and feel so fortunate that it has come easy. I want to do what I can to help those in need and who better than tiny, delicate premature and newborn babies? I came across the National Milk Bank and they have gone above and beyond to make the qualification process easy and fun. I am so excited to be a donor and a part of the National Milk Bank family!
When my daughter was diagnosed with a dairy and soy allergy I had hundreds of ounces of frozen breast milk that was no longer able to give her. First and foremost I was devastated that she couldn't have that milk that I had stockpiled (we did still continue to nurse until a year without soy and milk!) but also that all that milk was going to go to waste! It is too valuable to just throw out! That is when I found National Milk bank and was so excited to be able to donate! My daughter Aubrey and I just finished our year of nursing but she was super excited to be able to share her milk with babies in need! Thank you National Milk Bank for the opportunity!