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Donor Profile: Charlie, Ricky & Louise's Story

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

From Charlie, Ricky & Louise's Mom, Trang:

This is my third baby’s milk donation. They are quite different every single time. I had C-section with my first boy because he was breach and big (9lbs 10oz). It was really exciting but at the same time I was not sure what to expect. Because he was a big baby and how he was positioned in my belly, he was born with hip dysplasia, which required him to wear harness for 6 weeks. His head shape was uneven so he had to wear the helmet for 4 months. He also had bad eczema. Even though he had these issues, he had always been a chill baby and now he is a 4 year old healthy boy.

I had to admit that the breastfeeding journey with my 1st son was not easy. Everyone kept telling me because of the C-section, my milk would come in late. I tried to nurse him but he had tongue-tie so he couldn't latch on well. I went to many lactation consultant appointments to get help. I was quite emotional with many new challenges and my husband has always been so supportive. My doctor advised to clip his tongue-tie and hoped it would help with the breastfeeding. She had to do it twice because the wound healed quickly. After a week, he still didn't latch on and my milk still didn't come in. I thought breastfeeding is supposed to be natural and easy. I felt sad and emotional. I decided to pump and bottle him. At the beginning, I couldn't even get 1 oz after 20 minutes of pumping. I pumped every 3 hours as if I breastfed him and my milk finally came. At the same time, I got engorged and it was painful. I continued to pump every 3 hours for months, even though he already started sleeping through the night.

It was challenging because I was always hooked up to the breast pump. When he started solid food, I had extra frozen breastmilk so I decided to donate it. I donated about 45L by the time he was 1 year old.

With my 2nd boy, he was born 3 weeks early and he had jaundice. He also had tongue-tie but luckily, he latched on after the doctor clipped it. I thought it was my second kid, how hard could it be with breastfeeding. I was wrong. I had vaginal birth with him so I was told my milk should come in after a couple of days but it took a week. I tried to nurse him and pump at the same time. This time, I got engorged and also mastitis, which made it hard for him to latch on. I had fever for few days but I knew I needed to keep feeding him and pumping so that the clog could go away. When he started to nurse nicely and knowing how breastmilk can help other babies, I continued to pump extra. I donated almost 60L this time.

Recently, I had my baby girl in October and she is probably our last one. I have such a mixed feeling. I want to get out of the breastfeeding stage but at the same time, I’ll probably miss it. I took me a week to have stable milk supply. With 3 kids, life is quite hectic but I try to make time to pump whenever I have a chance. I’m glad I came across NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank and I feel so lucky that I have extra milk to help other babies. I hope my story can encourage other moms about breastfeeding. From my experiences, breastfeeding is not easy and it doesn’t come naturally. I had to work hard every single time. If you decide breastfeeding is not for you, there is nothing wrong with it. As long as you love and care for your babies, that’s what they need.

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