Special Guest Blogger: Milk Mama
I WAS THE MILK MAMA
My baby was born in June. I knew a number of people having little ones in between May and July. I thought the full extent of my involvement with everyone around the births of our kiddos was going to be related to food and mealbaby.com. I would bring food to new families while I was expecting, they would bring me food right after ours was born, and then I would go back to making dinners for some when mine was six-weeks old. That did happen and then some.
When my baby was approaching eight weeks I got a hard e-mail to read. A mom I had just brought dinner over for was a little awkward in asking me a favor, a big favor. Did I have any extra milk? Any frozen? Any to spare? She was polite in tip-toeing in her request but it was obvious, it was a needed request. I often hear of people talking about breastmilk like it is “liquid gold.” It is a commodity that is darn near priceless when you don’t have it on hand.
I had been spraying like a fountain and that point. My sweet babe was born at 7 1/2 pounds but had already put on over 5 pounds in his first 8 weeks. My supply and milk were doing great so I could afford to spread the wealth. The mom knew my diet from the meal exchanging we had done, she felt comfortable with what I put in my body to essentially put in my babe’s body. She knew it was good stuff for her baby.
With her request I was flattered and instantly knew I would help out any way I could. It was a tender road for me though. I pumped fresh supply for her baby so no nutrition would be lost from freezing and thawing. We scheduled bi-weekly pick-ups and drop-offs. Beyond that I didn’t want to know much of anything. I felt like any comment I made or questions I asked could be seen as condescending and I thought I was being respectful of a sensitive situation. I would only ask her husband if their little one had made it back up to her birth weight, to see if she turned the corner figuratively speaking.
I had been friends with ILBLCs through social media at that time, a regular at #bfcafe, and gobbling up breastfeeding information since my first trimester. I was not going to ask many questions or dole out unsolicited advice. I just had my first baby, this was not this mother’s first. I was afraid that anything I would say would be insensitive coming from the mouth of the woman who was obviously making more milk than the birth mother. I was afraid that anything I would say would be perceived as a slap in the face with sleep deprivation, concern for an undernourished child, and any other stress this mother was going through.
So imagine my surprise when someone familiar to the situation referred to me as this baby’s milk mama. Our shared health care provider. I twinged with uncomfortableness when this term was used in front of the birth mother. After all I don’t know how I would have felt having to ask someone to help out. However, I would have if it was needed. I supplemented a total of eight weeks. And can happily report the baby is doing well and her mama is making enough milk that they don’t need me anymore.
Kia is primarily SAHM to her infant son. Her and her family make their home in the Front Range of Colorado. She gets out of the house to teach yoga, take pictures, and play with her local start-up community. Visit her blog at http://bodhibear.blogspot.com/