“My husband, Eric, and I have been married for 7 years, and we are blessed with Lillie, 4, and Liam, 19 months. Canine agility is my main hobby! I have a 9-year old Papillion who is an agility champion, and we also worked together for 4 years as a therapy dog team.
Liam was born with an isolated cleft palate, which meant that he could not nurse, and the only way he could receive breastmilk was if I pumped and fed him with a specialized bottle. I was heartbroken by this news, as I had nursed Lillie for 2 years and was expecting that same experience.
When we were discharged from the hospital, our nurse challenged us to use Liam's journey for good. I discovered Tiny Treasures Milk Bank after finding myself with a milk oversupply, and donating my excess breastmilk has been our way of doing that!
I was born a 32-week NICU baby. At that time, my mother didn't have the support to pump and provide breastmilk to me, so I went straight to formula. I'm so thankful that products like Prolacta's are available to moms today.
The biggest challenge throughout my donation journey has also been my biggest sacrifice - exclusively pumping. However, being a compensated milk donor and knowing that the hard work of pumping is benefitting not only my child, but also so many others, has kept me motivated. Knowing that I've helped many babies receive the nutrients they need to have a greater chance at life has been so rewarding.
Initially, my donation compensation was set aside to help offset costs related to Liam's cleft palate surgery, which he had at 9 months. The compensation has also allowed us to pay down other medical debt and purchase some breastmilk jewelry! I am thrilled that I now have enough breastmilk in my deep freezer to feed Liam until his second birthday. This was my goal!
My advice to new donors: Set small goals and reward yourself when you meet them. Don’t cheat on washing and sterilizing your pump parts! Have a support network that encourages you in your donation journey!”