Coming Full Circle: Cassandra's Donor Story

Premature baby in the NICU
Cassandra's son, born at 31 weeks.

Cassandra’s experience with donor milk has come full circle. In 2009, her son was born 9 weeks early due to HELLP Syndrome. Because of her medical complications, she was unable to provide him with her own breastmilk for the first few days of his life. Donor milk gave him the nourishment he needed until Cassandra could take over.

 

Today, Cassandra’s son is a happy and healthy 8 year old, and there’s a new addition to the family as well – 5 month-old daughter Colbie. When Cassandra realized she had an oversupply of breastmilk this time around, she knew she wanted to donate it to help other babies like her son.

 

“I love that I am able to pay it forward,” she said. “I know someone else made the selfless decision and donated milk for my son. It feels good to have the opportunity to do the same for someone else.”

 

Family in hospital after the birth of a baby
Cassandra's husband attended Colbie's birth via Skype.

It also feels good to have the whole family together, something that Cassandra’s family has been waiting for. Cassandra’s husband was activated for deployment to Afghanistan as soon as she found out she was pregnant. While he couldn’t be there in person, he did attend Colbie’s birth via Skype. The family had a quick visit in September, where he met 3 month-old Colbie for the first time, before his return earlier this month.

 

While Cassandra’s experience may seem unique, she has advice that can be helpful for many breastfeeding and pumping moms. She encourages moms to be patient, and to use the resources available to them. “Educate yourself. Ask questions. Talk with other nursing moms,” she said. “There isn’t one thing that I have questioned or experienced that someone else didn’t reassure me that they experienced too!”

 

Baby sitting among frozen bags of breastmilk
Colbie with Cassandra's first milk donation.

For more information about donating milk, click here.