DENVER — Holding your child for the first time is a simple moment that can mean everything, especially when at one point, it was a moment that was hard to imagine.
“My husband was more scared,” said Jordyn Borrego. “They didn’t know if I was going to live or if [my baby] was going to live.”
Jordyn and her baby Donald have been in the ICU at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children since Oct. 22.
After an emergency helicopter ride from Wyoming, Donald came into this world at 23 weeks weighing just one pound.
“We didn’t get to hold him for about a month after he was born,” Jordyn said. “They wanted me to try and pump, but because he was so early I couldn’t and he was having major gut issues.”
Donald’s little body needed breast milk, and like many moms with premature babies, it wasn't something Jordyn could provide. It’s something their doctor, Josh Benjamin, had seen many times before.
“For babies like Donald, it is important to establish some human milk feeds early on to help prime their intestines," said Dr. Benjamin. "The best source for that is mom’s milk or donor human milk.”
Dr. Benjamin recommended the Mothers' Milk Bank at the Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation. The bank gave over 750,000 ounces of breast milk to 160 hospitals across the country last year.
“These donations come from healthy mothers who are currently feeding their own babies and realize, 'Oh my gosh, I have too much milk in my freezer and I would love to be able to help someone’s baby who needs it,'" said Mothers' Milk Bank Director of Operations Rebecca Heinrich.
Heinrich said donated milk is screened, pasteurized and eventually given to the babies who need it most.
The pasteurization process is shown to kill all viruses, like the new coronavirus COVID-19.
“Maybe mom has had surgery or is on medication or has had a breast cancer for instance, we want to make sure that that family gets the support that they need so that the baby can have the best start,” said Heinrich.
Babies like Donald have breast milk and the Mothers' Milk Bank to thank for being alive and healthy.
Jordyn and Donald were able to go home last week.
The Mothers' Milk Bank is trying to keep their supply stocked during this difficult time. Reach out to them if you’re one of those moms who has extra breast milk you can give.
> Learn more about Mothers' Milk Bank
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