I am a first-time mom to a beautiful little girl, certified lactation specialist, and milk bank employee! As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I chose a midwifery group for my prenatal care, hired a doula, and prepared myself in many ways for our baby girl’s birth. From my time with the milk bank and learning about the amazing benefits of human milk, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I thought that breastfeeding would come easily and naturally so I didn’t put too much effort into preparing for it, but BOY, was I wrong!
I remember feeling lost in the hospital. The latch was painful, I wasn’t sure if she was getting enough, and her bilirubin levels were on the higher side. Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with a lovely IBCLC that came to my house the day after we got home from the hospital. She was so knowledgeable, comforting, and gave us a plan! It was definitely hard work and it felt like an eternity until we could finally latch properly, but we now have the breastfeeding relationship that I always dreamed of.
I also knew that I wanted to donate my milk to a non-profit milk bank if I was able to! The early days of our breastfeeding journey involved pumping around the clock since we were still working on our latch. I now understand how pumping and storing human milk is truly a labor of love (& a full time job!). However, the donation process was so easy and I’m thankful that I was able to store enough milk to donate to the Mother’s Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes. I know that my milk will be helping babies in Wisconsin and Illinois that need it most!