Is "toddler" breastmilk ok for a newborn baby? - Mothering Forums
Breastfeeding Challenges > Is "toddler" breastmilk ok for a newborn baby?
arelyn's Avatar arelyn 02:27 PM 02-23-2009
I just had a dear friend die and leave behind a newborn baby. She was adament about BFing. I'd love to donate my milk to her baby but my son is 18 mo. I know the nutritional makeup of milk changes as baby grows but it seems to me it would be way better than formula. Would it be ok as baby's primary food, or just a suppliment? I wanted to check before I talk to her DH. He might be too weirded out to go for it anyway. She would have been ok with it (we had a joking conversation about it months ago) but you know DHs

Malissa's Avatar Malissa 02:46 PM 02-23-2009
I think it would be fine.
hollytheteacher's Avatar hollytheteacher 02:51 PM 02-23-2009
It's probably not as perfect of a match as a mom with another newborn's milk might be, but it certainly would be better than formula! I would offer if I were you (it's a very sweet and generous thing to do).
PassionateWriter's Avatar PassionateWriter 03:01 PM 02-23-2009
oh how sad. i am so sorry.

my 3 yo and 4 month old get the same milk..not sure how my body tells the difference. i would definitely think its better than formula.
06Mum's Avatar 06Mum 03:05 PM 02-23-2009
arelyn, How awful to lose your friend and for a new baby to be left behind.

Friend has a virus that can be passed through breast milk, and cannot breastfeed. My DC is 21 months, but I would like to pump milk for her baby due this summer.

It's nice to hear that people think it would be ok, but are there any midwives out there with experience with this? Or women who have gone through it themselves? Did the newborns in those cases thrive?

Thx!
sattygirl99's Avatar sattygirl99 03:14 PM 02-23-2009
I've been offered 'mature' milk (donation) for my 5 week old. While the make up is different, it's better than formula IMO. I have no problem giving my DD mature milk.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 10:05 PM 02-23-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollytheteacher View Post
It's probably not as perfect of a match as a mom with another newborn's milk might be, but it certainly would be better than formula! I would offer if I were you (it's a very sweet and generous thing to do).
:

Much better than formula. what a horrible situation - but what a kind and generous response for you to offer your milk.
amlikam's Avatar amlikam 05:15 PM 02-24-2009
you could check out milk share as well to see if there is anyone local to you with milk closer in age....

Sorry about your loss
arelyn's Avatar arelyn 05:56 PM 02-24-2009
We actually talked about it a few months before she died. She was ok with having a close friend nurse her baby/provide pumped milk but not a stranger. Her DH just left a message on our cell that he'd really appreciate my providing milk for J. Part of me is really happy though most of me is so heartbroken.
PatioGardener's Avatar PatioGardener 09:55 PM 02-24-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by arelyn View Post
We actually talked about it a few months before she died. She was ok with having a close friend nurse her baby/provide pumped milk but not a stranger. Her DH just left a message on our cell that he'd really appreciate my providing milk for J. Part of me is really happy though most of me is so heartbroken.
Oh sweetie, I'm so sad about this situation - how hard on you all. Providing the milk must be bittersweet. I'm glad you and your friend spoke about it though. I know I would be reassured to hear that my dear friend would nurse my baby and provide milk if I wasn't able to for whatever reason.
fek&fuzz's Avatar fek&fuzz 10:02 PM 02-24-2009
If you nursed her instead of pumping, or nursed her for a few days and then pumped, would your milk "switch" to more of a newborn makeup?
Dark Aisling's Avatar Dark Aisling 01:49 PM 02-25-2009
It is awesome that you're willing to do this! You rock

The only problem I can see is that you'll need to be more cautious about what you eat, again, so that baby doesn't become gassy.
smeep's Avatar smeep 06:17 PM 02-26-2009
Of COURSE it's better than formula! It's human milk, after all. Formula is supposed to be a last resort if no human milk (regardless of age of nursling) is available.

And healing vibes for you and her family. I'm so sorry.
kalamos23's Avatar kalamos23 06:33 PM 02-26-2009
I would think if you nursed the baby, your body might change it to newborn milk for at least that nursing session, and then you could provide pumped "mature" milk for night time - so sorry to hear about your friend - that is a hard situation *hugs* I'm really sorry.
xelakann's Avatar xelakann 02:53 AM 02-27-2009
Really sorry about your friend.

Yes the protein to fat ratio is different in a toddler than in a newborn, but as the others said it is better than formula.

However nursing the baby wouldn't make your milk switch to newborn mode. The complex postpartum hormones cause that.
bubbamummy's Avatar bubbamummy 02:58 AM 02-27-2009
I was going to donate breastmilk to the NICU and my son was 5 months old. They never mentioned any issue at all. I would say its WAAAAY better than formula. What a wonderful woman you are!!
sbrinton's Avatar sbrinton 04:33 AM 02-27-2009
If I were closer I'd happily donate my milk! I have more than 1000 ounces in the freezer that I pumped while our preemie was in the NICU.

Any breastmilk is better than none!

We gave our toddler some of my preemie mom milk in his sippy cup. The only problem with that is that the first few weeks of breastmilk have a very laxative effect...made for some yucky toddler diapers.
pauletoy's Avatar pauletoy 07:31 PM 03-03-2009
What a beautiful gift you are providing! I am so sorry for your loss.
jeliphish's Avatar jeliphish 07:35 PM 03-03-2009
I would think it would be an even added bonus. The baby would also be able to get some of your antibodies and natural immunities...I would think he would be doubly protected. Very sorry to hear about your friend I'm sure she is so thankful for what you are doing right now.
AkRotts's Avatar AkRotts 08:17 PM 03-03-2009
What a sad situation, but what a WONDERFUL thing you are doing for your friends baby!!!!
MountainMamaGC's Avatar MountainMamaGC 04:28 PM 03-04-2009
Of course its fine. I doubt they care what age the baby is when mothers donate to milk banks. Its much better than formula.
MaryJaneLouise's Avatar MaryJaneLouise 05:53 PM 03-04-2009
Think of it this way. How old do you think the calves are, whose mothers provide milk for infant formula?
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 06:02 PM 03-04-2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by arelyn View Post
I just had a dear friend die and leave behind a newborn baby. She was adament about BFing. I'd love to donate my milk to her baby but my son is 18 mo. I know the nutritional makeup of milk changes as baby grows but it seems to me it would be way better than formula. Would it be ok as baby's primary food, or just a suppliment? I wanted to check before I talk to her DH. He might be too weirded out to go for it anyway. She would have been ok with it (we had a joking conversation about it months ago) but you know DHs
I'm so sorry for your loss.

Definitely, "toddler" milk is a heck of a lot better for a newborn than processed infant formula! Yes, milk from a mom with a baby the same age would be a closer match, but the differences are much more subtle than the differences between breastmilk and formula.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PassionateWriter View Post
my 3 yo and 4 month old get the same milk..not sure how my body tells the difference. i would definitely think its better than formula.
In that situation, your body makes milk for the younger baby. Giving birth "resets" the milk-making clock.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lydiah
Of course its fine. I doubt they care what age the baby is when mothers donate to milk banks.
Actually, many milk banks will only accept milk from women with babies under a year old. I've heard of moms nursing toddlers wanting to donate and being turned away, and of other moms having to stop donating at their babies' first birthdays due to milk bank policy.
uzra_hashmi@rediff's Avatar uzra_hashmi@rediff 02:37 PM 03-05-2009
I have nursed children of different ages at the same time for about six years now without any serious problem. I think the best bet in your case would be to personally nurse the infant as much as possible which would soon turn your milk quality to his needs.
You are a great friend. I am sure you will succeed in this great deed.
Uzra
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