Please accept our sincerest condolences. We know your heart is heavy. And that your body is most likely still responding to your baby's birth. This may bring you some comfort or it may be an unwelcome reminder of the baby you no longer have.
We acknowledge your feelings; there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Losing a baby is the most difficult thing a mother will ever face.
Some mothers have found comfort and healing by donating their baby's milk to another baby in need.
If you decide on milk donation, please call us for a brief telephone screening. We will guide you through the process by following your lead on how you want to proceed.
To begin the screening process, please contact us at:
"As much as it is a lifeline to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, milk donation was a crucial part of my own healing; it helped to keep my empty arms busy and saved me from sinking into a black hole of sadness and depression."
~ Janine Lewis, mother of baby Micah
"I pumped for four months in hopes that one day my Mallory would be able to eat. The breast milk was hers. I couldn't think of a better thing to do with her milk than to give other babies an opportunity to thrive."
~ Kimmie McDanel, mother of baby Mallory
We can help by offering options on what to do with your breastmilk:
If you want to cease milk production, periodically apply cold compresses to your breasts. Ask the Lactation Consultant at the hospital how to hand express to relieve pressure.
If you want to donate milk for a longer period of time, pump to empty on a schedule that works for you. You can pump every 4 hours in the beginning. Massage your breasts during pumping. You can eventually space out pumping to every 6 hours as long as you are not uncomfortably full. When you are ready to wean from pumping, pump for less time leaving some milk in the breasts and pump less and less frequently.
If you want to donate some milk for a limited time period, keep your breasts comfortably full. Pump or hand express to relieve pressure but keep the breasts somewhat full. If you become engorged, pump to relieve most of the pressure and apply cool compresses for 20 min. at a time as needed. Continue to pump infrequently to relieve pressure.
Here are some helpful resources:
Offers support and education about the grief process and connects fellow bereaved parents, siblings, and grandparents who can offer support to each other and to each newly bereaved family.
Specializes in online support and referral services for families grieving the loss of a child.
Hotline manned by trained COPE Line volunteers who can provide resources, referrals, information, and emotional support.
A non-profit foundation dedicated to providing grief support and education.
Grief Share groups meet weekly to help face challenges and move toward rebuilding your life. Each Grief share session has three elements: video seminar with experts, support group discussion with focus, and personal study with reflection.
Provides grief support, education materials, and hotline.
Facilitates support groups and workshops.
Online support community and provides resources and education materials upon request.
Assists in meeting the needs of people facing perinatal death, the death of a baby from miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or early infant death.