My little girl, Sarah Elaine, was born at 30 weeks, weighing only 2.574 lbs. Because of her early delivery and medical conditions associated with her prematurity, she was placed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Sarah Elaine remained in the NICU for six weeks under the care of an amazing team of doctors, nurses, and other staff members. This amazing team of specialists and caregivers helped me to understand the risks we may face regarding the complications and long-term problems associated with my tiny angel’s premature birth. They also explained what we needed to do to get Sarah Elaine to the ultimate goal—achieve good health, proper weight gain and growth so that she could come home. I was informed that a sure way to get her to that ultimate goal was a diet that consisted only of human milk. Sarah Elaine had the opportunity to receive donated breast milk during her six-week stay in the hospital and I am glad she did.
The advantages of human milk are many and there is not a more beautiful, generous, or perfect gift that a breast milk donor mom could provide for a newborn infant in need. For children that are born premature, human milk gives them the fighting chance they need for healthy brain, bone and muscle development. Human milk also provides babies with natural immune boosters needed to protect them from a variety of illnesses, and intestinal or pulmonary complications. Sarah Elaine was released from the hospital at six weeks. Every day when I look at her now I am thankful that we were given the opportunity to keep her on an exclusive human milk diet. No cow’s milk products were ever introduced. Her weight went from 2.574 pounds to 4.673 pounds. My tiny angel has developed into a beautiful, very healthy 14 month old child who is bright, happy, inquisitive, nosey, and quite energetic.