Reservist Pumps Milk for Haiti's Injured BabiesMadeline Holler
Here’s an interesting twist in the battle between breastmilk and formula, staging ground: Haiti.
A U.S. reservist, sent to the island just after the earthquake three weeks ago, pumps her breasts a few times a day and sends the bottled milk to USS Comfort. The ship is a floating hospital anchored just off of Port-au-Prince. Among its patients are babies who were injured in the quake and it’s those babies who are getting what milk Coast Guard Lieutenant Teresa Wolf has supplied.
Know who’s not getting the breastmilk? Wolf’s 10-week-old daughter Chloe, who’s being cared by her godmother back at home in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Chloe gets one bottle of pumped-and-shipped breastmilk every day and gets formula otherwise. Wolf calls her production and delivery operation “Chloe’s Milk,” in recognition of her daughter’s double sacrifice — mom’s boob and, what I think is the bigger sacrifice … Mom!
Wolf, a physician’s assistant, runs the medical office on the so-called “Coast Guard Island” in Port-au-Prince harbor.
There’s no word on how long Wolf, who also has a four-year-old son, will be in Haiti. I’m surprised that the reserve calls up its members who are but 10 weeks post-partum, but perhaps that’s decadent compared to the standard six weeks the country looks at as perfectly adequate.
As for the breastmilk vs. formula: you go, Chloe! Who knows if the small amounts of breastmilk are doing anything for the sick babies in Haiti, but what’s perfectly true is this: you’ll be just fine with your dribblings of mama’s milk for now.
With all of Wolf’s pumping, Chloe will likely be able to resume where she left off.
Of course, Wolf is right there, she needs to pump and why toss the milk. Aid organizations are still insisting money is more useful than milk — yes, even for the babies.
What do you think? Admirable sacrifice?