When Amy Anderson lost her baby boy, her doctor advised her to bind her breasts. But she decided to pump milk to donate instead in honor of her late son.
She told TODAY.com, “I thought to myself, OK, I have all this milk. Now I need to figure out what to do with it.”
After she found out about the many benefits of breastmilk, she then started pumping regularly.
When she asked her former employer if she could take breaks to express milk regularly, they just looked at her and said, “Your baby is dead.”
They cited that the U.S. law for Breaktime for Nursing Mothers did not include surrogate moms or those who lost their babies.
She added, “It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a baby to hold. I was a lactating woman with physical needs.”
Losing their son
At about 15 weeks into the pregnancy, Amy and her husband Bryan found out that their unborn baby had Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction (LUTO), a rare birth defect which meant that the fetus is unable to pass urine.
For the next month after the diagnosis, their son fought for his life in the womb. They found out he had died in utero on October 28, 2010. Two days later, she delivered the baby and named him Bryson.
And almost a week after that, Amy started pumping breastmilk to donate.
The couple, who have two other children together—Brody, 8, and Owen, 2—have lost three babies in the past eight years. But losing Bryson whom she was able to hold in her arms and whose heartbeat she heard led her to realize that she wanted to make a positive impact on the world.
Their love led to giving
She found pumping breastmilk to be comforting and she felt even more connected with her late son Bryson. She would often look at his ultrasound photos. The whole process helped her cope with the grief.
After eight months of regularly expressing milk to donate, she donated a total of 92 gallons breastmilk to five milk banks
She said, “This was Bryson’s life purpose and I’m going to embrace that.”
This act of generosity led to 30,000 feedings.
Read: Buying breast milk: Is it safe to buy milk from another mother?
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