Wednesday, August 7, 2013

her milk.

one of the hardest parts in the days following delia's birth and death was something i had stressed about, but not one most people would think of.

what happens when my milk comes in.

i nursed eliza for her first year, so i didn't know any different. we had a rough start, but i grew to love it. i wanted that bond with delia too, but knew it likely wouldn't get to happen.

while we were in korea i saw a page on effbook about donating breastmilk. i considered pumping and doing that. thought it might be therapeutic, but in the end i did not. i could not. that was meant for her.

i was afraid that every pumping session would just be a bitter reminder of what should have been. i couldn't do that to myself.

i also feared that not nursing that time would hurt me when our rainbow baby came. thankfully that was not the case and hattie has been exclusively breastfed until this month when she started solids.

the morning of delia's funeral was of course when my milk came in. as if that day wasn't going to be painful enough. i'll spare the details, but let me just say after binding myself, and that pain in the days to follow i found myself asking "why would anyone do this? not nurse? or at least just pump and slowly dry up." i'm not judging, but holy cow, that hurt more than any of our nursing struggles!

i'm sure you have heard that it's world breastfeeding week. a sweet friend, and one of the doulas that was with us in korea shared this picture with me. it was on the fb page. i just loved it. thankful that i get to share this precious time with another little girl.

August is Breastfeeding Awareness month. The Universal Breastfeeding Symbol is a simple blue and white logo. I want to show something that honors mothers who face post-loss lactation, and who share that milk:

-a surviving multiple
-an older sibling
-donation to another baby, through wetnursing or pumping
-any other means

-Mothers who are now nursing a subsequent baby and who are grieving that nursing relationship with their beloved deceased baby as part of their grief journey.

This is just a simple logo, so it can't capture everything, but for those moms who have experienced these challenges, I hope you find this simple symbol validating. has more support resources for post-loss lactation, including expediting drying and other options mothers may decide with their milk.


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