Looking Back on her Donation Journey
When Daria’s son John was born 10 weeks early in 2016, she was dedicated to providing breastmilk to nourish his tiny body. Life revolved around a pumping schedule and trips to the hospital’s NICU and Special Care Nursery, where John spent his first two months.
Daria and her husband quickly realized that they would have too much milk to store in their regular freezer, so they purchased a deep freezer reserved solely for her breastmilk. As time went on, the milk kept adding up. A lactation consultant at the hospital gave Daria information about breastmilk donation, and she happily connected with Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Daria donated more than 2,300 ounces of breastmilk during the course of her journey.
“Pumping is a commitment for the whole family,” she said while reminiscing on late night feedings and scheduling work meetings, date nights and everything in between around pumping. “Knowing that this milk was going to help my son and many other families to have healthy babies is what made pumping, and the commitment that comes along with it, a little bit easier.”
Today, John is two and a proud big brother to baby Kevin, who rounds out the family of four. Daria’s time as a donor may have ended in 2017, but it’s a meaningful experience that she still carries with her today. She holds in her heart the families who are impacted by donor milk.
“Understanding that donated milk will often go to families that are spending time in the NICU, I want them to know that I’m thinking of them,” Daria said. “It’s not an easy experience, and you’re not in it alone. Lean on the staff, family, friends, strangers, online communities - whatever it takes.”