Mom Turns Grief into a Gift by Donating 40 Gallons of Breast Milk to Preemies

mom donates 40 gallons of breast milkIt's safe to say that every mother's worst nightmare is losing her child. But one mom, even as she was grieving, was able to selflessly put her heartache aside and help other families. Amy Hanson donated 40 gallons of breast milk after losing her 5-month-old daughter, Adalyn Rose. What a beautiful act of generosity and kindness. 

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Hanson, who suffered from preeclampsia, was forced to deliver her baby at just 27 weeks and 5 days gestation. Little "Addie" weighed less than 24 ounces, but her fighting spirit kept her alive for 160 days in the NICU at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

While Hanson waited and hoped for her daughter's survival, she pumped every two to three hours, sometimes as often as six to eight times per day. Though Addie was too weak to nurse, the devoted mom continued filling bottles and praying for the day her little girl would benefit from the breast milk.

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Unfortunately, Addie's lungs never progressed the way they needed to and she passed away. Hanson continued to pump for weeks after burying her daughter, with the intent of donating the milk to babies in need. But because she'd been so focused on her baby, she never realized just how much she'd amassed.

If you're having trouble visualizing what 40 gallons of breast milk look like, think of it this way: Her 5,000 ounces were enough to feed 22 preemies for one month! Amazing!

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As incredibly bereft as Hanson must have been, it had to console her even in the smallest way to know that she was able to help other families in similarly frightening circumstances. And imagine how grateful the parents of the recipients must be, knowing that their infants would benefit from the immunity-rich pasteurized donor milk.

This story not only has a happy ending for those babies in need but for Hanson and her husband as well. The couple is expecting their second daughter in July, and thankfully, this pregnancy has been complication-free.

 

 

Image via Monthira Yodtiwong/Shutterstock

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