Baby sitting with a stuffed toy

Maverick was born at 29 weeks and 6 days gestation. His mother recounts the scariest day of her life and shares her gratitude for the life-saving donor breast milk.

Our son Maverick was born at 29 weeks and 6 days gestation– a point when every single day counts. I had been in the hospital for three weeks prior to his birth because my membranes had ruptured early.

The day he was born was one of the scariest days of my life. Everything happened so quickly with so many people surrounding me; it was so vivid, yet such a blur. Maverick was born weighing 3 pounds and 15 ounces. He was instantly rushed to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) while I was taken in for surgery because of complications.

Image of a baby in hospital on the left and image of the baby and the mother on the right

A few hours later, I was reunited with Maverick. He was so tiny and fragile, yet very alert. One of the first things I remember was the NICU nurses explaining to us about donor milk. I had breastfed our daughter for 13 months and was well aware of the substantial benefits of breast milk. We immediately agreed for Maverick to receive donor milk during the most crucial time of his life.

I continued to pump every three hours to increase my milk supply and within a few days, we no longer needed the donor milk. Maverick remained in the NICU for 40 days and throughout his stay, I continued to pump to feed him and to keep my milk supply up. By the time he was ready to come home, I had a huge stockpile of pumped milk in the freezer.

Breast Milk

I was so thankful and relieved that Maverick had the opportunity to have human milk while I worked on my own milk supply. This option was not available 18 months ago, when our daughter was born four weeks early and needed extra supplements.

My husband suggested the idea of donating milk back to the Milk Bank a few months after our son came home and I began the process to become a donor. As a mother of a preemie, I am incredibly grateful to the moms who had the heart and took the time to donate. I witnessed firsthand the little miracles that were on the receiving end.

I urge all pregnant and nursing women to consider donating milk. Human milk is the most precious gift you can give. You have the ability to make another parent’s life a little less stressful in a time that seems impossible. And your milk will go a long way towards saving a baby’s life.

Maverick is a fighter and has beaten the odds that were stacked so high against him. He’s a healthy, happy little boy who celebrated his first birthday in August.

World Breastfeeding Week is September 24-30. This year’s theme is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together. It celebrates working together for the common good, which produces sustainable results, greater than the sum of our individual efforts. Danielle is a living example of this. Many thanks to Danielle and to all mothers who donate their milk so future babies may benefit.

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Learn how you can become a breast milk donor and help other babies in need.

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