One of the hardest things about my diagnosis of breast cancer while I was pregnant was being told that I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed my son due to needing to continue with chemotherapy after the birth. I enjoyed breastfeeding my daughter for 18 months and had to stop feeding her to be able to start chemotherapy. It was very upsetting that I wouldn’t get to have that same breastfeeding relationship with my son. Part of me felt guilty that I wasn’t able to give him my breast milk to provide the best start for him, especially after having undergone chemotherapy whilst pregnant with him.
The donor milk I received helped take that guilt away and was a blessing that has made my cancer diagnosis that much easier to cope with. He was able to obtain many of the important benefits of breast milk and I was able to feel like I was doing all I could to ensure he has had the best start in life. He has been jumping up the percentiles in his weight through being fed exclusively donor milk and is clearly thriving. The donor milk has not only helped my baby but also helped me emotionally deal with the circumstances.
I can’t thank all those lovely women out there enough for donating milk to the milk bank and am so grateful to them and all the team that work to ensure the milk is processed safely and delivered for my baby. It has been an absolute blessing at a very stressful time. We hope that following my recovery, we can fundraise for the Human Milk Foundation to raise awareness for this fantastic charity that has helped us so much at such a difficult time.