We’re lucky to live in a time and place where it’s uncommon for new babies to die. It still happens though and is very sad. One thing we don’t usually talk about is the lactation that comes after birth even if there isn’t a baby to nurse. Mothering Magazine has a really nice article about this from the perspective of the mother. Melissa Coffey says in her piece:
Perhaps the medical community doesn’t know how to address this issue eloquently and thus avoids the subject in an effort to be sensitive to the mother; however it’s more likely this is yet another time where the breastfeeding relationship to birth is swept under the rug as unimportant. Every mother who is going to birth needs solid information about breastfeeding and what to expect from her body after she has given birth; this is especially true for mothers who will not have a baby to nurse. There are several options available to a woman who has a milk supply without a baby to use it. She needs to understand these options, preferably before she gives birth.
These options include drying up the milk and donating the milk for another family to use. I’ve posted about the Mothers Milk Association of Wisconsin before but this is a great chance to feature MMAW’s spiffy new website, www.mothersmilkwi.org. This organization helps connect donor mothers with the milk bank in Ohio.