Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes (Milk Bank WGL) proudly unveiled Poppy’s Dream bereavement memorial on January 13, 2018. More than 100 local families have chosen to donate milk after loss. Over 40 of these families attended the unveiling event; with nearly half traveling many hours from throughout Illinois and Wisconsin – a true testament to the importance of this program. The common sentiment repeated by bereavement donors is that milk donation is a gift; not just for the recipients of the milk, but for the donating families as well.
Everett’s mom, Kate, was a second-time mom who described the ache of wanting to nurse her son as an unquenchable need that milk donation helped soothe. When she left the hospital with empty arms, she knew exactly what she was missing – and that her body wouldn’t get the memo that her baby did not survive. She made the choice to pump for donation, stocking her freezer with milk just as she had planned to do for her son. “Donating milk was such a healing process for me, and the [unveiling] event allowed my [older] son and husband to be part of that healing, too. I can’t stop thinking about how much positivity this experience could offer fellow loss moms. I know in my case, everyone at [the hospital] seemed kind of afraid to say anything to me about my milk, other than how to dry up. I knew right away I wanted to donate.” Delivering the milk was a defining moment in Kate’s path to healing after losing her son. She explained that milk donation was one of the best things she has done with her life. She takes great comfort in knowing her son’s life goes on through the families he helped, and the star that hangs with his name at Milk Bank WGL.
What health care professionals need to know about bereavement milk donation:
Milk donation is an option for all families who experience perinatal or infant loss
Health care providers can help grieving families by including information about milk donation as part of their bereavement education
Milk donation after loss can be discussed in any setting, including:
-Labor & Delivery and Mother Baby Unit
-General Pediatrics and PICU
-Pediatric Cardiac Unit
There is no minimum donation – we accept all bereavement donations
There are no exclusions – we accept all bereavement donations and may use milk for research if we cannot process the milk for distribution
Families deserve the opportunity to make the choice that feels right for them.
Interested families can start the process by calling 847-262-5134
Poppy’s Dream bereavement memorial program is truly the heart and soul of Milk Bank WGL. We are honored and humbled to be a part of this healing journey for families throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. Our staff is happy to offer in-service bereavement training for participating hospitals. We are also available to attend relevant conferences and events.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847-262-5134.