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Powerful Prescription: One Mom's Story of Receiving Donor Milk

March 14, 2011

I truly believe in nature’s most “powerful prescription”, donated human breast milk. I have two beautiful little boys that have two very different stories as to how they were fed. When my first child, Cooper, was born in 2006 I knew there was a milk bank, but unfortunately that’s all I knew. Cooper was born at 34 weeks and remained in the NICU for over 3 weeks, mainly with gastrointestinal issues. I know how rich in antibodies and immune fighting properties breast milk is, so I did everything in my power to breastfeed him. However, I was unable to produce adequate breast milk, so his only option was formula. I remember feeling like such a failure. After 2 years of chronic illness including ear infections, diarrhea and vomiting, Cooper was diagnosed with an immune deficiency (CVID) and food allergies (EE), including milk and soy. Cooper now receives weekly infusions to build his immune system and we watch his diet closely.

Fast-forward 4 years and 2 days and my second child, Cash, was also born preterm at 35-36 weeks. Knowing our history, I began looking at my options with the milk bank prior to his arrival. I had two concerns at that point—first, how could I afford to buy the milk and second, how safe is the donated breast milk? Since I am a Registered Nurse specializing in mother baby care for over 11 years, I spoke with the staff at the milk bank and researched their website. I learned the milk is pasteurized and the donor mom’s are tested for certain diseases, which made me feel confident that donated milk was a safe choice for us. I am willing to have a blood transfusion from donated blood and I felt donated breast milk was the same concept….More

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