What could be more selfless than donating your own breast milk?
The one thing that stuck with me after reading the story of Jay Snyder on the Wall Street Journal was that despite the tragedy he's coping with, he hasn't lost hope thanks to the amazing generosity of others. You see, Jay and his wife Michal had been wanting to have a baby for seven years. After years of fertility treatments and an egg donor, she finally gave birth to twins in November of last year. But a few hours after her scheduled C-section, Michal died without even being able to hold either one of her babies.
But out of that tragedy came lots of goodness. A network of about 30 women--coordinated by a friend of Michal's sister--have been regularly donating their own breast milk to the twins who are now 3-month-old and thriving. Now what could be more selfless than that, especially because Michal had been so explicit about her desire to breastfeed her babies?
Stories like this warm my heart because it shows that even though there's so much tragedy around us and sometimes it feels like there's no good left in the world, these women--many of whom never even met Michal--decided to come to the rescue as soon as they heard her story. Jay told the Wall Street Journal that their generosity has been an inspiration.
"It would be very easy to just be cynical, but instead through a very tragic circumstance I've been shown the better part of human nature," he said.
Donating breast milk is nothing new. In fact, the Human Milk Banking Association of North America has established several donation procedures including blood screening tests. The same is true for non-profit milk banks like Mother's Milk which also pasteurizes the milk to get rid of bacteria, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
And although the women donating their milk to the Snyder twins are not really following any of these procedures, the one coordinating the effort does ask them basic medical questions to make sure they're healthy moms. Jay said he's aware of the risk, but he believes all these women are trustworthy and he's probably completely right. I can't imagine a mom who would donate her milk knowing it wasn't safe.
What an amazing story right? I only had enough milk to barely feed my daughter for five months and I had a bit more with my son, but if I'd been able to donate any of it, I would've done it in a heartbeat.
What about you? Would you donate your breast milk if you could?
Image via the bone/flickr