Donor Spotlight: Amanda’s Story
Amanda spent the first days of her life in a neonatal intensive care unit, over thirty years ago. Today, she is a Milk Bank donor helping other premature infants in the NICU with the gift of her breastmilk. Amanda has graciously shared her path to becoming a Milk Bank donor:
“As a first time mom, all you want to do when you’re pregnant is talk to other mothers about their birth stories. Whenever I had asked my parents about my own arrival, it was recounted with a lot of joy, but also excitement and chaos. Shortly after I was born, I was rapidly transported over from the delivery hospital to the SickKids NICU, where I spent the early days of my life. Although none of this is something I remember, the story and cool scar are still with me today. My parents had even stored away a bottle I got from the hospital.
Thirty years later, after having my own baby, I was lucky to have an oversupply of breastmilk. I looked into how the donation process worked and was determined that this was a cause I wanted to support. Being a NICU baby myself, I wanted to be able to give back to help those babies have the best start at life.
Breastfeeding is incredibly rewarding, but also incredibly challenging. I couldn’t imagine trying to navigate this steep learning curve while also having a hospitalized infant.
My first donation was sent to the Milk Bank a few days before the holidays and we were able to collect and donate 10 litres of breastmilk! It was a stress-free process and the Milk Bank team made shipping easy. Even if I can help just one infant have a shorter stay in the NICU before going home to their family, I feel like I’ve done my part and have been able to pay it forward.”
Her thirty year old NICU bottled pictured above sits beside the boxes of donor milk that are ready for shipment to the Milk Bank. Eventually, her donor milk will be pooled, pasteurized and dispensed to NICUs across Ontario and eastern Canada, in what Amanda says, ‘brings everything to a full circle moment’. Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your story and this beautiful photo.