Karyn’s Story: Taking care of myself so I can take care of my baby

Mother with newborn

My son Caleb’s birth was a bit of a roller coaster – he came out very quickly. In addition, I had a postpartum hemorrhage after he was born. The next morning, he was diagnosed with tachypnea, which is fast breathing due to fluid in his lungs, probably from how fast he was born. He was whisked away to the nursery, and then to the NICU and put on a CPAP to help dry out his lungs. Because of his breathing difficulties, he was also given a feeding tube. I started pumping and got a good amount of colostrum initially and but then it decreased in the next few pumping sessions.

I was a wreck! Having your baby taken from you 12 hours after giving birth is agonizing and taking care of myself was the last thing on my mind. The NICU lactation consultant shared that donor milk could be available if I needed to skip a pump session in the middle of the night. I made the decision to work on my own recovery and let the nurses give Caleb donor milk so I could get some rest and heal.

Caleb received donor milk, in addition to my milk, over a few days until my milk came in and I could pump enough for him. I was finally allowed to breastfeed him at five days old.

Caleb is now five months old and I just sent my first box of my breast milk to donate to the milk bank. I’m so excited to be able to pay it forward to other NICU moms.

– Karyn, recipient and donor

Have you been touched by the mission of Mid-Atlantic Mothers’ Milk Bank?