MEET THE BABIES SAVED BY DONOR BREAST MILK
Donor breast milk isn’t always easy to get or makes a lot of parents nervous about the donor themselves. Especially as vegan parents, finding vegan donor milk is as easy as finding a magical unicorn. It is out there, somewhere.
As the maternal mortality rate stories increase in the United States, especially among women of color giving birth, we have come to understand that we are failing women, in birth, in labor, even in the most basic of aftercare as they have babies.
Then the conversations stop, everyone with their hands in the air. Apparently, we cannot do more, we don’t discuss why it is happening and how we can prevent it. We listen to stories of mothers dying in labor, read studies showing that heart disease among women is growing during pregnancy, dying of heart attacks during or immediately after labor is on the rise. We don’t discuss the babies, who are now never going to meet the one person who brought them into the world, waiting with so much love and anticipation.
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One such mother, Jessica Manley became the name of the maternal crisis that we’re faced with. She died twenty-four hours after birthing her darling baby, Cayden Manley, earlier this year of a pulmonary embolism in her lung. Jessica and her partner, Chris Manley had spent five years trying to start their own family, and it ended before she even had the chance to get home.
Chris wanted to carry on Jessica’s plans for breastfeeding their baby. Reaching out to a donor breast milk organization that could make that possible, ‘Eats on Feets’.
“Hello, my son and I just relocated to Loveland from Arkansas. I am trying to find donor milk for him per his mothers wishes before she passed. I am willing to travel to pick it up.”
The response was overwhelming, hundreds of women came together – shipping milk to him, hand delivering it. Chris ended up with enough breastmilk to fulfill his late wife’s wish.
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Life Saving Breast Milk
While we can agree that infant formula is a life-saving creation, and thanks to the modern ways of feeding our babies – we can focus on the mental health and wellbeing of mothers who are left to choose to feed their babies over their own PPD. Yet, not all babies can have formula or need donor breast milk that will help in their healing. Such is the case of eight-month-old Bastian.
After a liver transplant at eight months old, his parents reached out to the organization to find donors in the Colorado area.
He is 8 months old and yesterday he had his liver transplant! He is now fully curedEats on Feets Call For Donors
fromthe OTC disorder he was born with. And now he can have all the breastmilk he can drink! If anyonehas any to donate it, we would greatly appreciate it! I live in Palmer lake colorado but I am up at children’s hospital too!”
Donor breast milk organizations such as Eats on Feets and Human Milk 4 Human Babies are crucial for parents. With the ever diminishing village to help us navigate the modern world, especially as news that American officials surprised international delegates at the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly in May when they opposed a widely popular resolution to promote breastfeeding, according to a Sunday report by Andrew Jacobs for the New York Times. Specifically, they pushed to remove language asking governments to “protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.” They also took issue with a passage that called for policymakers to restrict the promotion of food products that may harm children.
There is also the issue of maternity or paternity leave in the United States, it doesn’t exist. Some states such as New York have very recently enacted family leave acts, but they fall wholly short of any international standards. Treating pregnancy and birth as an illness. Leaving very little time for mothers to establish a breastfeeding routine, and in some cases not enough time for bonding – with parents returning to work days after they give birth.
Lastly, we have no checks for moms when it comes to mental health, PPA and PPD is something that is left up to the person suffering to seek out treatment for. In a lot of developed nations, a mother is assigned a maternity nurse, who will visit the mom and baby in the weeks and months after birth, ensuring everyone is doing well, breastfeeding is going well, and mental health is the forefront of the conversations.
With organizations that are volunteer-run, communities around the country helping to bridge just one small gap of providing donor breast milk, it shows we can do so much more to help parents, and disrupt the anti-parenting society we live in.
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