Sunday, February 24, 2008

Preemie Milk

To clear this up (even though I've blogged about it before)...

Tricia is unable to feed Gwyneth because of all of the meds she (Tricia) is on (and some other reasons).

Therefore, Gwyneth is eating donated preemie breast milk from mothers of other preemie babies. Don't ask me how it works...all I know is that I have been told, by the NICU people here at Duke, that there are about 9 "banks" in the US, and one is very close to Duke, which makes for easy access for the NICU here at Duke (many NICU's that are not near a bank have a difficult time obtaining donated milk from a bank). She eats milk that is appropriate for her age, and as she grows bigger and older, will be given different milk from mothers of babies of the same age/size.

You can read more about preemie breast milk Here.

That's all I have to say about that.

:)

Nate

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

How amazing and helpful donation can be.

Praise God for people that are willing to share.

Megan & Company said...

Did you ever imagine there would be a time in your life when you'd compose entire posts about breastmilk? ;)

barb in ohio said...

Yeah, Nate, you provided just enough info. We won't expect a young guy to go into much detail about this subject, though for us moms, it's no big deal. (-: God bless the donor moms....

Brittany said...

I provided milk for a milk bank after my baby spent 55 days in the PICU and then passed away. I donated over 250 bottles to the bank. My baby used another woman's milk (because they could make it fat free..who knew) and I continued to pump hoping he could one day take mine. I am glad that your sweet baby girl can have the breast milk she needs.

Anonymous said...

Hurray for breasts!
with milk,
and extra milk for babies. I have to say that breast milk is MAGIC! My kids have never had an antibiotic, and they are 12. I breastfed both for 16 months. No earaches, no allergies, it's just good. They should give it to everyone! LOL

carlys life said...

i was a premature baby too not as much as gwen only 5 weeks early but i stayed in hospital for about 5 weeks was tube fed for months afterwoods because of my cerebal palsy etc mum couldnt feed me also im a twin

Chelsey said...

Very interesting. I had never even heard of it before! Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Another mom here who has donated milk. I pumped for a week while my son recovered from open heart surgery (and was not being fed as he was sedated and on a vent) and I had no need for 200+ ounces of breastmilk so I donated it.

Moms are tested for STD' and other diseases and additionally the milk is pasturized and then ready for a baby in need.

Amazing, I say!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely amazing what medical science can do these days.

God bless you, Tricia and your sweet baby girl as well as donors -- whether it be breastmilk or organs!

Robin said...

Very cool!

Anonymous said...

Nate,
Is it standard for the preemies in the NICU to automatically be given the donated breast milk or are the parents given an option to use formula instead? Just curious.
And bless those generous mothers that donate for those that cannot produce for their own children. I can only imagine how grateful you and Tricia are to them.

LilyMyLove said...

Wow. Amazing about breastmilk. Preemie milk does Gwyneth good! I am glad that the donor milk is made available to her. Yay for good insurance that covers breastmilk!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading thru your old posts and was wondering if the reason Tricia is so weak and sick right now is because of the pregnancy or just the normal progression of her illness? @e are praying for her healing in Salt Lake City.

Anonymous said...

Blessings for Breastmilk!

Kimberely_Cooper_NJ said...

Great explanation, Nate! I was wondering what Preemie milk was too! Hehe

Anonymous said...

I have said it before and will again, I am soooo uber glad that little Gwen is getting breast milk. Not that formula is 100% bad, but breast is best! I was crushed when I had to stop pumping and wished on many stars there were a bank close enough for our little Will. But since we had to make the difficult swap he has gained an huge amount of weight and seems to be doing just fine, despite slooooow lung growth. Hopefully we will be going home sometime before tax day (5+ months after delivery)but who's counting, right? Enjoy both of your sweet ladies and have a blessed day.

M,L,M & W (26 weeker)

Thoughts and Things said...

I've breastfed my 3 girls a total of 6 years and 11+ months (so far) and I did not know milk donation banks categorized milk according to age. It totally makes sense of course! You really learn something new every day :)

VDog said...

Congratulations!

I donated my special preemie milk, and unfortunately, even though it was a very large donation, it was used within a week. I just wished I had had more of it to give (now my 32 weeker is 13 months and the milk isn't the same).

I wish you the best of luck -- the NICU is a rough road. My Little Man's best friend and NICU roommate was a 27 weeker, and he is doing GREAT! You can see more about them on my blog or on his (mom's) blog: web.mac.com/babyaidan.

Love and blessings to your family.

walkingbyfaith said...

I never knew "milk banks" existed until you mentioned them here. I think it's one of the neatest ideas I've ever heard of. :)

Blogfreys said...

Seriously, this is pretty great. I mean the milk bank thing is great, but your little baby taking milk and growing is remarkable. Maybe I like food too much, but thinking of little Gwyneth with a full belly does me good!

DavitaJo said...

You know...I had no idea milk banks even existed. So cool!

megasam said...

Thanks for sharing that information. I wish I had know about breast milk banks when I was nursing my first daughter. I had a lot of milk and then found out that she was allergic to the milk protein. She screamed all day and night until we finally discovered what the problem was. After that we were finally able to enjoy our first baby ;). You are amazing to be able to blog about breast milk, my husband couldn't do that :0).

Jill in Raleigh said...

There was an article regarding the local Milk Bank and donating in the Raleigh paper, just last week. I am including the link, if interested. Amazing how so many strangers care about and help in times of need.

Jill in Raleigh said...

Here is the link:
http://www.newsobserver.com/news/health_science/story/951333.html

Sara said...

technology is an amazing thing!

beachbug said...

Nate,

Breast milk doesn't seem like normal everyday conversation between the boys. For men this is hard to understand. Let me help if I may (and I'm in no way referring to moms as cows, so ladies, don't get mad).

When I worked at the dairy we would pull the calf off the momma after it was born, within hours. Sounds cruel but that's life in a dairy, enjoy your milk. We would then milk momma cow into a "can" and then freeze her milk because it wasn't good for human consumption but was very good for the calves (and we had a lot of them). This came in very handy having a back up of colostrum (sp?) in the freezer, because at times some momma cows wouldn't make it and the extra milk was needed for their calf. It was way better for the calf then the formula we fed them as they got older.

So because of this invaluable experience I gained working at a dairy I understand the milk bank. Makes total sense. The coolest thing is that premie babies, if I understand correctly, get different milk than than a baby born at full term. So now tell me that God didn't create us. I can't see the human evolving and coming up with this on our own.

Let's hear it for premie milk! (applause)

beachbug said...

I my be the only male that commented on this post.
I'm not scared!

John & Michelle said...

So sorry for the mean people in the world. People in my workplace that rarely ever speak to me have come up over the past two weeks to ask me how your family is doing! I did a post about yall on my blog and didn't realize my coworkers even looked at my blog. The Chrysler autoworkers in Illinois are praying for you!!!

Adventures from the Mini Van said...

It always makes me happy to hear that a baby is getting breast milk. I've been nursing my little guy for 20 months and I can't say enough how great breast milk is. I've never donated milk (don't even know if there's a place to do so around here) but BIG kudos to those that do!

ApplePieMom said...

Nate,

I have two kids and I breastfed my daughter for a year and my son is still nursing (he's 9 months). So, this is completely normal conversation around my house and family. My husband is even more open about it than I am and thinks that what I'm doing for our children is a wonderful thing. So, don't feel weird talking about...it's the absolute coolest thing that you can do for you baby girl!

clara said...

Im a volunteer LC and my husband jokes that he is ready to start answering my phone calls, he knows all about latch, let down and the rest!

It is wonderful that you are close to a milk bank. I'm in a huge metropolitan area with no milk bank at all. Breast milk in a preemie (preemie age appropriate milk) has been proven to be a life saver in micropreemies especially. God really did design us so well.

Jen in Al said...

That is soooo incredibly awesome. i am thanking God for the Mommies that have chosen to serve others in such a tangible way! Gwyneth you just keep on drinking and growing, baby girl!!!! Way to go Mom and Dad! taking such great care of your White Rose! Praying, jen in al

Emily said...

That is so cool! I am amazed at how many little details go into taking amazing care of your little princess. I never knew there was a difference in breastmilk for preemies and full term babies.

Adrienne said...

That is just too cool! What a blessing!

NC Krol Family said...

my son has had the flu for the past week so was unable to take his milk. it will be donated along with all the 200 or so ounces in the freezer. thanks for sharing about these things. otherwise, i might have just dumped the milk when i was no longer in need of it.

Catherine said...

I've learned so much from this post! Why am I surprised that God makes premie milk different from full-term milk? We are fearfully and wonderfully made!! Praise God!

So thankful that you live near a milk bank that is able to provide the perfect milk for Gwenyth.

God is good...All the time!!

Our Family of Four said...

This is SERIOUSLY fascinating! If I ever have another baby I'll make sure to donate... I was a milk machine for my son. So happy Gwenyth can handle the milk.

Lorri said...

The women who are able to donate milk are amazing! God Bless them for their sacrifice. I wish every state had a milk bank. Just think how many more preemie's and sick infants would thrive because they were given the amazing liquid.

If you don't know how Amazing God is....read up on breast milk, what's in it and how it changes to suit the needs of the infant/child you are feeding...no matter how old they are.

Oh, and how cool is it that the average biblical weaning age...was around three. YEARS!!

AWESOME!!!

Busy Momma said...

how wonderful that you have that option! a big thank you going out to all those wonderful donating women.
take care

Heidi said...

The first month after a preemie is born the mom produces a different type of milk (according to our NICU lactation consultant) that is easier on the preemie belly. It's just that first month so it's precious stuff! I was blessed with plenty-o-milk while pumping for our 23 weeker so we found out about the donation option and passed on some of that preemie stuff. They said it's reserved for the most critically ill babies because the composition is so beneficial. All of the milk is treated and tested in big batches but the bank said if it's preemie milk they treat it in a separate batch.

Of course any breast milk is still a wonderful blessing, but that's what we were told about "preemie milk."

Kristen Hamilton said...

I've also read that they're sending donated breastmilk to AIDS orphan babies in Africa because of its incredible nutrients, vitamins, etc. Oh the mind of God! That He would know exactly what the composition of breast milk should be. Awesome...

Dana said...

hey nate,
i have been reading your blog for some time now. you guys are truly an inspiration. you have brought tears to my eyes on many many occassions.

i was a NICU RN in a life before kids. :) it's so wonderful to see your daughter thriving so. i worried when you posted that she was being taken so early, but WOW she is just so amazing and such a miracle!!! the NICU i worked in was in DE. we housed one of the largest Milk Banks in the US. breast milk is by far the best thing to ever put into a baby's belly, and even more so for a preemie or a micro preemie :). you guys are totally doing right by her and in my opinion it is one of the main reasons her belly has been good :) i know you guys had some scares, but i believe the breast milk kept them as scares and nothing more.

i think about you and tricia daily and include you all in my prayers. i pray that your family continues to move forward from now on. you are so young to be going through so much. i am just a hair older, but your life experiences surpass mine by a million!!!

your girls are gorgeous. i know the Lord is watching over them and keeping them safe.

God Bless you all!
:) Dana

Becky Sprecher said...

Hi Nate! I am new to commenting, but I've been reading your blog for a while now, since about the time your little one was born.

I had a 33 weeker (who has CF) back in '95 and pumped a total of 665 ounces of milk that he never got to have, and donated it to the milk bank here in San Jose, CA. I heard that my milk helped feed other babies. I have subsequently donated milk from my other (non-CF) babies. Like organ donation (which I also plan on doing), it is truly one of the best and most amazing gifts that a person can choose to give.

I hope that maybe this comment will encourage others to donate their milk. I know that there are lots of moms who end up with extra in their freezer -- even THAT is donateable, as long as it's not older than a certain amount.

Keep on keepin' on and I'll keep reading! :)