DONATING AFTER A LOSS
DONATING AFTER A LOSS
Losing a child is a heartbreaking experience. A mother's love is forever and this child will always be a part of you.
Although your heart is grieving, your body may have already begun to produce milk. We would like to support you by offering options to manage your milk production. We encourage you to watch the video "Donating After the Loss of Your Baby" to understand how NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank is one path you can take in managing your milk supply.
Mothers donate milk to a milk bank after the loss of their baby for many reasons. It could be because it provides them with routine and a ritual, they want to help sick and fragile babies in the neonatal intensive care unit or leave a legacy for their precious baby.
If you would like more information or have questions on how to manage your milk supply please contact a local lactation consultant or NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank for support.
Our Starry Night mural in our office was created to honour the memory of all babies who have passed away and whose family has chosen to donate their breast milk to NorthernStar.
A few times a year, local artists at Workshop Studios in Calgary come together to handmake the beautiful stars that are featured. Each star is unique and special, just like the little ones they were created for.
How to suppress your supply:
If you would like your milk supply to decrease or stop, it is important to limit pumping and hand expression to comfort measures only. In doing so, your body will naturally stop producing milk.
While your body begins to suppress its supply, you may feel some discomfort and you may leak milk. Nursing pads will help absorb excess milk.
Wear a bra that is comfortable and supportive.
Take warm showers, allowing your breasts to leak (without expressing). This will help to relieve some discomfort.
Place ice packs or a cold, wet cloth on your breasts for 10 to 20 minutes several times a day.
How to express your milk:
If you would like to express your milk, this can be done by either hand expression or with the help of a pump. Early stimulation of your breasts will help build a good supply of milk. Expressing a minimum of 6 times a day will give you the best results.
Pumps can be rented from many pharmacies and local drug stores. The average cost to rent ranges from $80 - $95 per month.
You can store your milk in milk bags or containers supplied by NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank, and place in the freezer in 24 hours of pumping.
If you have questions on how to manage your supply, you can contact a local lactation consultant, or call NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank and ask for one of our lactation consultants for support.