We’re happy to share a guest post by our friend Heather and her breastfeeding experience. Heather has 3 children and 3 totally different breastfeeding experiences. She wanted to write to reinforce the last guest blogger. Today is the second and final segment of Heather’s story.
I was fortunate to have a super-healthy 2nd baby, and experienced 18 months of wonderful breastfeeding with him without complications.
My 3rd child, Darin, was born to me by adoption. He was a 33-week preemie who also has Down syndrome, and I really wanted him to have the benefits of breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I did not have a long time to study the inductive lactation protocol. By the grace of God, the time from when we entered the adoption process, to when Darin was in our home was 5 weeks.
But I still had to give it a shot. After such a successful experience of pumping, and breastfeeding, I was certain that my body could figure out how to feed Darin.
So, I found a friend who had ordered Domperidone from a Canadian pharmacy to help with her milk supply, and I started taking this medication that has a common-side effect of lactation, even in men! I started pumping every 2 hours.
And a little milk started appearing.
By the 4th week, a whole days pumping would yield 8 oz. And I had gained 8 lbs.
But the good thing was, Darin was a strong baby. While still in the NICU, he was drinking 4 oz bottles of formula. So, when I put him to the breast, he knew what to do. And even though he didn’t get alot of nutrition from me, we did gain in our bonding from this.
I had to weigh the personal effect of gaining weight so rapidly (others reported 25 lbs of gain during the inductive protocol), against getting 1 bottle of milk per day. And the milk was very watery, thin, and white. Not what hearty breastmilk looks like.
So I gave up the idea of making the milk for Darin, and started working on the next-best thing:
Find donor milk!
I found a huge network of women in my area that were breastfeeding moms who pumped either for work, or just to have a stockpile, who would share with us.
Each week for about 2 months, I’d drive house to house to pick up 3, 10, 15 bottles of milk.
And then I hit the mother-load! There was a mom who had filled an entire deep-freezer, and her son never took a bottle! She donated the whole freezer to Darin. He ate off her for 1 whole month.
Fortunately, due to Darin’s prematurity, Darin was eligible for pasturized donor milk through the Mother’s Milk Bank in Austin. Insurance began to cover a weekly shipment of frozen donor milk to feed Darin from 4 months old until he was 1 year old. Such a gift.