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The Kindness of Strangers (And Their Breast Milk)

The stranger's breast milk that I'm storing in my freezer.

Remember all of my breast feeding drama?

Well, the silver lining in all of this has been witnessing the kindness of strangers.

Due to all my difficulty with milk supply, I’ve had to supplement to make sure that Fern was getting adequate nutrition. Without supplementing, Fern wasn’t able to gain weight, so it was obviously a necessity. I was able to obtain some donor breast milk while I was at the birthing center where I delivered, but it was only enough for a couple of days. I just assumed I’d end up needing to supplement with formula, because there was no way we’d be able to afford to buy breast milk from a milk bank, but thanks to the kindness of a stranger I had no need.

Read more after the jump!

My midwife connected me with a woman who has the good fortune of a large milk supply and she so graciously offered to pump extra for Fern and I. During the first few weeks, she made a “milk drop” for me at my birthing center, but this last week I finally met this wonderful woman and her beautiful little girl. It was so wonderful to have this connection with someone I’d never met.

Something about breast feeding is so personal and the fact that someone would be willing to share this with me and my baby is something that I will be forever grateful for. I know that giving Fern formula wouldn’t be the end of the world, but I love that I’m able to continue giving her breast milk for now thanks to the kindness of a wonderful stranger.

I know that some people might find it a little bit strange to give their baby someone else’s breast milk, but it makes me feel good to be giving her breast milk…even if it’s not my own. I also just wanted to put it out there for those of you who are mama’s with an oversupply of milk:  there are women out there who would love to take some of that liquid gold off your hands! I know that if I ever somehow run into an oversupply myself anytime soon or with future babies I’ll definitely be paying it forward!

 

•Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook, or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

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