After I gave birth to the twins via surrogacy, the parents asked if I would pump milk and send it to them. Of course I agreed. I don’t know if I realized what a commitment it would be, but knowing that I was giving them an amazing gift kept me going strong. I pumped every three hours round the clock for 6 months, collecting approximately 60-70 ounces daily that I would freeze and then ship to them once a week. I appreciated the extra calorie burn that came with making milk and I was quickly down to well below my pre-pregnancy weight in no time!
After the six month mark, I had some issues with the parents and I had decided to stop pumping and shipping to them. However, since I was pumping so often, just stopping would have caused some extreme engorgement. I chose to continue to pump and store the milk, but to slow down significantly on how often I would pump. I was pretty much weaning myself from the pump.
By the time I was done pumping completely (around 12 months postpartum), I had built up quite a stash of milk. I had heard from a lady I worked with about moms looking online for breast milk donations for their little ones. I decided to check it out. I will admit that at the time (before Facebook and other social media sites were a big deal) I had a tough time finding moms in need of milk. I, instead, came across many men who were looking for the milk for, um… “personal reasons”. After posting an ad on one site that I had milk available, I finally started getting some emails from somewhat local moms looking for milk.
Of the moms interested, I chose three of which to share my milk stash with. One was willing to drive to my town to meet up, the other two drove half-way between our two home towns. All were appreciative and I felt good about what I had done in addition to making plenty of room in my freezer for a much deserved half-gallon of my favorite ice cream.
Now, even then, I was uncertain that if I were in the same situation as these moms and was not able to produce enough milk to feed my little one, would I be able to trust a stranger to provide the milk for them? There is more to my milk sharing journey that I will share in future blogs, but for now, I would love to hear from other moms who donated and those who have received milk. If you haven’t had either experience within the milk sharing realm, what are your thoughts on it?