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donating milk after a loss / pumping schedule

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I lost my baby yesterday. At a routine 16 wk pregnancy check up there was no heartbeat and I delivered him last night in the hospital. I feel my milk coming in and was thinking of donating it for a while locally. It feels better to pump and I would feel good knowing something positive can come from our loss, like giving my milk to a preemie. 


Does anyone have any resources like a pumping schedule or what I should be doing and how often. If I should take teas or tinctures. It's helpful for me to think about helping someone else right now, to get through our grief. Thank you.

post #2 of 7

Oh, mama, you are a beautiful person!  I am so, so sorry for your loss.  (((hugs)))


The recommended schedule years ago when I did peer counseling was to pump every 3 hours with a 5 hour break at night to sleep.


You can certainly load up on oatmeal (a wonderful comfort food all around) and mother's milk tea.  Stout beer can be helpful, too, in moderation of course.


Above all else, please take extra good care of yourself and be gentle wtih your body and spirit.  Best wishes to you and yours.

post #3 of 7

no advice, just wanted to thank you and tell you how incredible you are for thinking of others during such a difficult time.  you are amazing.  don't forget it.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your thoughts. It's hard right now not to feel my baby kicking inside me anymore, knowing I will never get to hold him or nurse him. But it feels right to donate. I'll make some oatmeal and tea. I'm more of a wine drinker than beer, but I'm not ready to drink anything yet anyway. I have a Medela freestyle double pump, is 10 minutes every 3 hours a good amount? or should it be 15 minutes? I have some motilium/ dom but I forget the dosing on that.

post #5 of 7

You can start by applying moist heat to your breasts and giving them a little massage from the chest wall down toward the nipple.  Then start pumping and stop when the milk stops flowing.  Of course, if you experience pain or even discomfort, you would want to stop right away.


I'm not sure if you intend to encourage a full supply or if you just want to catch the milk that your body will produce naturally over the next couple of weeks.  If it's the former, keep it up almost around the clock and be sure to "drain" your breasts of milk.  If it's the latter, pump only when you feel uncomfortably full and only until the pressure is just relieved.


Have you found a mama in need yet?  If not, you may want to visit this site.


A close family member had a full term loss several years ago.  I was present at the birth.  I can only imagine what you are going through now.  My family member was still nursing her toddler and I know it helped her immensely to feel the milk wasn't "going to waste".  I'm sure you've posted on the loss forum, but if you'd like to tell me your baby's name or anything else about him/her, I'd be glad to listen via PM.  More hugs to you mama.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much. It was a boy, we named him Gabriel. I feel better pumping, it helps my hormones I think and it feels good to know his little life can do some good helping an infant in need. I posted his birth story in the loss forum http://www.mothering.com/community/forum/thread/1297027/no-heartbeat-at-16-weeks#post_16252008


It helped to write it down. I was thinking once my supply came in I'd contact my local eats on feets group, I wanted to wait and make sure I'll have milk first. I'm pumping every 2-3 hours and added some tea and started taking the dom. If I remember right it took about 3-4 days for my milk to come with my other two babies, but after that I was a very prolific milk producer. Just for a little while, focusing on this is helping me get through this. Today is better than yesterday. Thanks again.

post #7 of 7

I'm so sorry for your loss-what a wonderful, loving mama he has! It sounds like you're doing pretty well-I EP and the standard advice for the immediate PP period is 8-12 times a day, 15-20 min at a time. It's more important to get the same number of pumps in per day than sticking to a strict schedule-sleep is important too. If you want a lot more information, you can check out the Exclusively Pumping on Ivillage (http://forums.ivillage.com/t5/Exclusively-Pumping/ct-p/iv-ppexcluspump)

Hugs to you-I hope you find peace.
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