A Maine mother has donated 92 gallons of breast milk to help babies in need after losing her own son, Bryson, who was stillborn at 20 weeks.
Amy Anderson began lactating after she lost her third child in 2010. Despite her doctor’s orders to “bind [her] breasts and take Sudafed,” the mom of two decided to let the natural lactation process occur. Eventually, she “found comfort in expressing milk in [Bryson’s] name.”
In an interview with Philly Voice, Anderson explained: “No one prepared me for what would happen to my breasts after Bryson was born. In fact, I was told that it was way too early for breast milk to be produced by my body. But this was a horrible misconception. Within a couple days after delivering Bryson, my milk came in. My rock-hard chest was throbbing, and milk saturated everything.
“I knew I wasn’t supposed to pump. But I was in horrid pain, so I decided to pump ‘just a little’ to relieve my body.”
The experience left Anderson with a feeling of “powerful closeness” to her late son, and she decided to start pumping regularly. She then learned the benefits of human milk and decided to donate her own.
“I thought to myself, OK, I have this milk. Now I need to figure out what to do with it,” she told Today.com.
Unfortunately, her employer would not let her take regular breaks to pump milk, and cited the U.S. Break Time for Nursing Mothers law, which does not include bereaved or surrogate mothers.
As a result, Anderson quit her job and is now trying to change the law to include all lactating women. “It doesn't matter whether or not you now have a baby to hold,” she said. “I was a lactating woman with physical needs.”
In eight months, Anderson donated 92 gallons of breast milk to milk banks in four different states and also in Canada. And to top it all off, her donations have resulted in more than 30,000 feedings, Inquisitr reports.
“Through pumping and donating [my son’s] milk, I came to see that Bryson’s death held a blessing in disguise,” the mom said.
Anderson now volunteers at Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast and is working towards becoming a breastfeeding consultant.
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