Earlier this week I was lucky enough to stumble across the incredible story of a local mom who through months of hard work and dedication was able to make an incredible donation that will go on to nourish many local babies.
Lindsey Seitz, a Michiana native, made a 2,471 ounces donation to The Milk Bank of Indianapolis this past week after ten months of pumping. You heard right. Nearly 2,500 ounces and TEN MONTHS of effort. Amazing, right?
Not only does her story simply deserve to be shared because of how amazing it is in general but I am hoping it will inspire and give strength to those looking to make a donation of their own.
I had the opportunity to ask Lindsey some questions about her journey and get some advice for others looking to donate.
What led to your donation?
"What led me to to donate was the over abundant supply of milk I was producing. In the very beginning, before I had even given birth to my now 10 month old son, Houston, I knew that my #1 goal was to be a successful breastfeeding mother. (My family doubted me from day one because I'm very quick to give up on top of having a very low pain tolerance.)
When I started breastfeeding I was having some latching issues with Houston so I decided to start pumping in addition to nursing him. I didn't have a whole lot of knowledge behind breastfeeding, so in nursing and pumping from the beginning, I "accidentally" trained my body to feed for twins. When Houston turned 3 months old I went back to work full time and stopped nursing and just exclusively pumping. Since then, I've always made sure that Houston has 3-4 fresh, ready to go bottles of breastmilk in the fridge and I freeze whatever is left over.
After 10 months of this on going routine, I ended up with353 freezer bags, each full of 7 ounces, which equaled a grand total of 2,471 ounces of breastmilk that I was able to donate."
What was the hardest part?
"The hardest part is finding a routine and schedule to stay on and stick with. In the beginning, it was extremely hard. So hard that I remember crying to my Mom & Husband about how badly I just wanted to quit. I can now go 6-7 hours between pump sessions, but it's taken me 10 months to get here. In the beginning, as most moms know, you're pumping every 2-3 hours at the least. That alone is so depressing...
It almost makes you feel like you're being punished because you have to sit in another room alone listening to this little black box (the pump machine) talk to you and morph the sounds into creepy words! (Hahahahaha... Most BF Moms know what I'm talking about!)
What do your friends and family think?
"My friends & family are so extremely proud of me!
Like I said, none of them thought I would even be successful at breastfeeding my own child... & now I'm feeding a thousand other little babies on top of my own!!! (Mind boggling, right?) I never thought I would get the feedback that I did on social media on Donation Day, either. (Total of 30 'shares' and 256 'likes' on Facebook!) Needless to say, I'm very proud of myself."
What's your favorite memory from your journey?
"My favorite memory from my journey is Donation Day!!!! People kept asking what I was going to do with all this milk and I kept saying, "I'm going to donate it!", but I kept thinking in the back of my head... Am Ireally going to donate it? Then after the month long screening process I prolonged it a little longer to continue saving to see how much I could really actually get for the big day... a.k.a. Donation Day! That day was so bittersweet for me. Rewarding to see what my body was able to do, but it was 10 whole months full of days, hours, minutes of my time and not ever giving up (like literally..... you can't just take a day off like you can from anything else!) that I was handing over to someone else that would eventually feed the mouths of needy little babies who need MY nourishment. Unexplainable feeling."
What advice do you have for others looking to donate?
"My advice to other Moms would be to NOT give up!!!
I understand it's not something that is meant for all women, but if you are producing milk and just having latching issues or don't even want to actually nurse at all, but just exclusively pump, YOU CAN DO IT! I truly believe that nutrition, HYDRATION, enough sleep and a very strict routine is what makes this successful. When one of these are off balance in my own life, I can see it in my next few days of pump sessions for sure. But then I adjust and get my supply right back in line.
It's hard work, but it can be done!!!"
(photos from Lindsey's donation)
We here at Elevate Michiana Doula Services would like to extend a HUGE thank you to Lindsey and all the other moms who so selflessly donate their milk.
We're so proud of you!