When the birth of her son didn’t go to plan, Mikah Duncan didn’t fall in a heap and sob. Oh no. She embraced the changes in her body and pumped milk so her premmie could thrive. When she had pumped enough breast milk for him to drink, she didn’t stop there – in fact, she pumped an incredible 70 more litres to help feed other struggling babies.
Baby Cash was born premature because of his mother’s shortened cervix. Surgery mid-pregnancy allowed the baby to continue to grow, but complications at 24 weeks meant Cash had to be delivered.
Giving birth to a baby that’s three months premature means no holding, no cuddles, no feeding. But there was something very important Mikah could do – express some milk to help her fragile little boy. And so she did.
Her determination not only meant she helped her son get stronger but it led to the biggest breast milk donation ever received by The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio.
“I couldn’t touch him, I couldn’t hold him,” Mikah says.
“So I decided I was going to pump my heart out. It was all I could do.
“My husband would wheel me down to the NICU to deliver this tiny bit of milk and I felt so defeated. But I had to keep trying.”
First pumping about a syringe’s worth, Mikah pumped every two hours before she was able to pump much more every time.
“I realised that he (Cash) probably wasn’t going to be able to eat everything I had stored at both the hospital and home,” she says.
“So I decided to donate it.”
Mikah happily donated 15.5 gallons (70.4 litres) of breast milk to other children in need.
JoAnn King, a hospital spokeswoman, says it’s the largest amount the hospital has ever collected.
Mikah and her son are now at home with Cash released from hospital last week. She says she is thrilled she was in a position to help other babies.
“It feels amazing, just to help in some small way,” says Mikah.
Take a look back at our post which shows a photo of expressed breast milk that gives new meaning to the phrase liquid gold.
(via Babble, images via Children’s Hospital of San Antonio)