Hello friends and readers! We’d like to welcome you to the blog of the new Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank! We plan to update this blog regularly, and we intend for it to be a place of support, inspiration, and advocacy.
The Oklahoma Mothers’ Milk Bank (OMMB) is a hot-off-the-press organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of critically-ill hospitalized and premature babies through the nourishment of donated breast milk. One of the hardest aspects of the process, but also by far the very coolest, is that key word you just read: donated. The OMMB is on a mission to find breastfeeding mothers with an oversupply of milk who are willing to part with their liquid gold in order to help save the life of someone else’s child. Donating milk is simply the boss because the reward is without measure. Just so that we’re all clear about the importance of what we do, here are some living examples of who we serve.
Charlotte in the hospital
Meet Charlotte. Baby Charlotte Rose suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of 11 months and was airlifted to a pediatric trauma unit where she underwent emergency brain surgery to alleviate life-threatening swelling. Charlotte’s condition was determined by a CAT scan to be fatal, and her family was told by physicians to prepare for her passing; her family even met with the organ donor team leader to prepare for organ donation once Charlotte was taken out of her medically-induced coma. Fear not, however: the story of Charlotte’s hospitalization has a great ending! Charlotte began sucking on her breathing tube one morning, which prompted a close examination from a physician, who announced that Charlotte was indeed not brain-dead after all. From that moment forward, it became a quest of planning for Charlotte’s life and recovery rather than her passing. Her family decided immediately that, although Charlotte had previously been a formula-fed baby, her sustenance now would be donated pasteurized breast milk from a milk bank. Her family and the hospital made this happen via the Mothers Milk Bank at Austin, and Charlotte’s family is confident that the breast milk that Charlotte has consumed “is not just the best nutrition, it’s also the best medicine.” Here is Charlotte, pictured now at 14 months and home from the hospital. Charlotte’s full story can be read on her aunt Maria’s blog, linked here.
Charlotte at home, 14 months old
If that isn’t enough to warm your heart, allow us to introduce you to Slate.
Slate receiving donor milk from a bottle
Baby Slate in the NICU
Slate was born eight weeks premature with a serious birth defect in his abdomen. He wasn’t given much hope for survival. He withstood four months on a ventilator in the NICU with a failing liver, infections, and numerous surgeries. The Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas wrote, “Slate began receiving small feedings of donor human milk from the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. He gradually tolerated larger amounts of donor milk and was finally able come off his IV nutrition, which was affecting his liver. After four months in the hospital, Slate was able to go home for the first time. Slate continues to thrive on donor human milk and consistently continues to gain weight! Slate’s family strongly believes the donor human milk he received is the reason Slate survived and continues to thrive.”
This is Slate today!
The beautiful faces of Charlotte and Slate represent what we at the OMMB are most passionate about: babies thriving against the odds that they are up against, and doing so in part because of the benefits that breast milk provides for them. If you’re a breastfeeding mother with an overabundant supply, we encourage you to donate your excess to babies that could truly benefit from it…or at the very least, keep reading this blog and give us the opportunity to convince you of it with upcoming posts! And, as always, we encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies because science has repeatedly shown that every ounce counts. Subscribe below, readers, and we’ll do our darnedest to not disappoint!