Mom Grieves Baby's Loss By Filling Breast Milk Bank in His Honor


donated breast milkThere's no perfect prescription for dealing with the loss of a child. Every parent will grieve differently. But Jennifer Coias has found a way to cope with saying goodbye to son Jude that's particularly beautiful. She's helping other moms sustain their babies with donations of her breast milk.

Coias, an American mom living in Brazil, is known by many parents on the Internet for her natural parenting articles: from her passion about ending circumcision to co-sleeping advocacy. But last month word began to spread about her for another reason. On September 15, she delivered her son, Jude Mateo, via an HVBAC (home vaginal birth after C-section). Jude was stillborn, something the Coias family knew two weeks prior to his arrival. But like the bodies of so many moms who lose a child early on, Jennifer's has continued to produce breast milk.

And Jennifer decided she could use that milk to help other babies: babies whose moms can't produce enough or are unable to breastfeed for some reason, babies who don't have their biological mom and her milk available, any baby really who's working with a human milk bank at a Brazilian hospital. The kids are getting the results of the seven to eight pumpings that Coias is doing daily. Her donations compose HALF of all the hospital's bank gets, and hers is the highest in calories and fat (that's the good stuff for babies). According to her reports on Facebook, before she started donating, the hospital had to ration out the milk for only the "sickest and smallest of the NICU babies." Now they have enough to feed every NICU baby with human milk.

With son Noah at home and son Jude to grieve for, Jennifer's strength is astounding. She could have given up on this a long time ago, but nearly a month in, she's increasing her milk supply and sending out bag after bag of milk. The Coias family has put together an incredible tribute for their son.

Want to help her keep going? She needs milk bag donations, which can be sent to Jennifer Coias, Unit 7500, Box 1381, DPO, AA 34030-1381. A PayPal account has also been set up to cover the costs of services for Jude and her birth bill.

Have you ever donated breast milk?

Image via Daquella manera/Flickr



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Stephanie Knox Norman

This is touching. Thank you Jen for your dedication and wonderful way to honor your son.

lindc lindc

What an amazing, selfless, strong, wonderful woman!!! She is such an inspiration. I lost my baby to stillbirth at 41 weeks and I could barely function; I can't imagine doing what she is doing. There is a special place in Heaven for this woman--right next to the precious baby who is waiting for her.

Achelois Achelois

Many babies die for want of being breastfed, most especially those in NICU. Jude is no longer with us but others will live on because of him and his selfless family. This is such an incredible gift <3 As a stillbirth mother myself, I wish I'd been given the option to donate.

Katie Priebe

She is an amazing woman, doing an amazing thing. It doesn't matter how many times I hear about what she's doing, it brings me to tears every time. There just are not words to express what a selfless, caring, wonderful woman she is. The world is lucky to have someone like her in it.

MrsMa... MrsMamaBear31

I actually considered this when I lost my son and my milk came in, but it was so painful for me that I was too busy grieving and wallowing in depression to make myself follow through. this woman is so strong, she deserves a medal :) it's unspeakably hard to bring a child into the world just to lose them, but she is carrying on his memory by doing something great. cheers to you, honey!

Flyer High

Good for her!! You go girl!  That is such a super cool thing to do.

Nanixh Nanixh

Amazing! What a wonderful woman. Story's like this really bring a smile to my face. That such a tragedy has turned into a gift for other babies in need. My heart breaks for her loss, but at the same time it swells with joy because it much take such a great strength to do such a kind act after losing your baby. Thanks for posting this story. 

tania... taniamorse85

Absolutely amazing!  I think this is a wonderful way to honor Jude.  I hope that knowing she is helping other babies live helps ease the pain of losing her own son.

Vegan... VeganMamma909

I have donated around 10,000 ounces of milk since January of 2011. I know what it is like to lose a child, and I wish I had known about donation when I lost my daughter <3 my heart goes out to this amazing woman.

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