When her second son was born prematurely, mom of three Natalie discovered firsthand what it felt like to be on the receiving end of milk donation. The gratitude she felt for another woman’s gift wasn’t quickly forgotten, and after her son grew and was able to go home she vowed to give back to others.
In a blog post for photographer Leilani Rogers’ site Natalie opened up about her experience, writing:
My second son was born prematurely at 34 weeks and having already felt like my body had failed me by delivering early, it crushed me when my milk didn’t come in as quickly as it should. My baby needed to eat, so without hesitation, I asked for donor milk to be fed via his feeding tube. I knew the benefits of breast milk, especially for preemies.
Because his intake was so little he didn’t end up needing much, only about 6 ounces in total, until I was able to fully provide for him. That milk, even though a small amount, was cherished. I was thankful for every last drop! I thought about the woman who sat pumping for MY baby and I prayed for her and thanked God for leading her and her kindness to us.
Natalie began pumping while her son was in the NICU, and continued until he was 14 months. The dedication resulted in her being able to donate an impressive 15.6 gallons of breast milk directly to one family in need.
As if that accomplishment weren’t amazing enough, Natalie chose to pump and donate once again when her third son was born — this time collecting 23,000 ounces (over 179 gallons) of breast milk to donate!
A look at photos of this mom’s accomplishment, beginning with a 700 ounce donation and onto when she surpassed her goal of 20,000 ounces: