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The story of Lillie, as told by her mom, Abbie

My husband and I have been married for two years, and Lillie is our first child. She was born via emergency c-section at 26 weeks and 3 days, weighing just 2 lb 2 oz, then dropping to 1 lb 14 oz after birth. The doctors did not know why she was born so early.

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Soon after my c-section, I started pumping 9 times a day and was lucky to quickly build a large milk supply. After a couple weeks in the NICU, the nurses spoke with us about fortifying my milk to help Lillie gain weight, and that’s when we heard about Prolacta. Once we started adding Prolacta fortifier to my milk, Lillie’s weight really took off! During her 71 days in the NICU, she was fortunate not to experience any complications, aside from an eye infection, and weighed 5 lb 7 oz at discharge. Lillie did so well at reaching her goals that she went home early!

Today, at 6 months old (3 months corrected), Lillie is doing great and is as determined and sassy as ever. She coos, smiles, laughs, and does pretty much what a typical six-month-old baby would do. She enjoys taking naps on her daddy, eating, snuggling up to soft blankets, and bouncing! Lillie is very healthy, and I am so proud that her little rolls are completely brought to you by the ‘house white’—ME!

I was so grateful for what Prolacta did for Lillie that I wanted to give back by becoming a milk donor.  I began donating my excess milk to Tiny Treasures Milk Bank in the beginning of 2020. Knowing that I’m helping other families in such a tangible way is so rewarding. I feel so fortunate to have the ability to spread some love and hope with my hard-earned milk. The compensation from milk donation has also had a great impact on our family. We were very stressed about our NICU and hospital bills, but since everything I earn from donation goes toward those bills, we can pay them down more quickly.

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Advice to NICU Moms

To the moms who suddenly find their babies in the NICU, my biggest piece of advice is to refrain from negative thinking. Try to think and speak positively about the situation, even on the hardest days. Also, get to know the nurses caring for your baby and build friendships with them. This will save your sanity! The closer you are to them, the more you get to know the people behind the hero’s cape, which helps you trust their choices. Ask questions! You probably didn’t plan to be in this situation, and you aren’t supposed to know everything. Connect with the other NICU parents, as friendships in the NICU really do help! Lastly, give yourself a purpose. When Lillie was in the NICU, there were times I didn’t feel like a mother, because there wasn’t much I could do to help. But I discovered my purpose: to provide her with milk. I pumped my heart out!