Breast milk donation my one regret as a breastfeeding mom

My one Regret as a Breastfeeding Mom

Breastfeeding my little one has been one of the most awesome experiences in my life.  I’m not saying it was all plain sailing.  Because it wasn’t.  I’ve had my share of ouch moments and dead boring moments and moments when I was desperate to nip out for a bathroom break or grab a bite to eat and he just wouldn’t let go.  At the beginning my nipples felt so raw and sensitive that even the touch of the softest fabric brushing over them felt like sandpaper.  There were days and nights that he seemed to nurse non-stop and it felt like it would go on forever and I would always feel that exhausted.

But none of these are regrets.  They are just bumps along the road to the many beautiful, precious moments we have shared as a nursing duo. It’s been special.  Really special.  It’s been a time to get to know my little boy’s heart.  A time to gaze at his sweet face with that overwhelming sense of peace and love for all humankind.  A time to hold him close while we snuggle up in mutual adoration.

We’ve been through the wondrous phase where he would pull away from a feed to look into my eyes to say, “I love you Mommy”.  We’ve been through the phase where he would bring his cars or motorbikes with him to each feed, one for him and one for me so we could play.  We’re still in the phase where we he reaches for my hair as soon as he starts to nurse and plays with it, twirling it around his cute little fingers… aah, bless. We’re still in the phase where I read him to sleep while he’s happily nursing.  And we’ve been nursing for over 3 years.

Yup, I’m one of those Moms, nursing a toddler. I believe in the power of extended breastfeeding.  I’ve had this idea in my head for a while now that I’d like to give my son the opportunity to wean naturally. I read somewhere that if you allow your child to wean in their own time it becomes another milestone for them that they are proud to achieve. And I like that idea, so I’m going with it.

Also because… I can.

I’ve been very fortunate.  I have not had to go back to work after 2 or 3 or 4 months maternity leave.  I haven’t had to go back to my real job at all (thanks to my awesome hubby) and so I never had to work out how to pump.

And that’s where my one regret comes in.  I never learned how to express milk because I never had to.  And because I never had to pump, I never donated any breast milk to anyone in need.

This is my one regret as a nursing Mom – not donating any breast milk.  Not sharing the love, the goodness, the richness of this precious gift I was given. And I was given plenty.  I had so much to give away.  My son was a voracious feeder at the beginning.  I fed him on demand, which meant I was always producing more and more milk.

Breast milk works on supply and demand, or would you call it demand and supply?  Because the more of baby’s breast milk demands you fulfill, the more you are able to supply.  My son nursed often (every 60-90 minutes) and long (45-60 minutes per feed) so I was producing oodles of milk in the first year. Or was it two?  For the first 6 months at least it was almost gushing out.  I can prove it.  I went through a huge box of disposable breast pads and then went on to buy cotton re-washable pads because I knew I’d need them for a good while longer, and I did.

But that’s not the proof I would have liked to have offered. Now, looking back (hindsight is 20-20 vision), I wish I had made a concerted effort to learn how to pump so I could prove my breast milk worthiness by capturing pictures of packets of milk piled up ready to go to a Milk Bank.  Or, wouldn’t it be lovely to sport one of those gorgeous certificates the Milk Banks send Moms once they tally up how much they’ve donated in total?

Mostly I regret not producing any real proof:  a premature baby’s life may have been saved by my breast milk. I could have given a baby life. Sustenance.  Protection.  Nourishment.

Oh, I did. My baby.  And I am deeply grateful I was in a position to do that.  I am thankful to have given my baby the freshest, creamiest, most delicious life-giving milk he will ever receive.

I am thankful to have given my son:

  • What WHO & UNICEF recommends – breastfeeding to 2 years and beyond
  • Perfect nutrition in the most digestible form
  • Breast milk that changes composition according to his needs
  • Potentially higher IQ & academic performance ( Brazil Study , New Zealand Study , Australian Study)
  • Antibodies to assist his immune system to prevent and fight off disease
  • His best chance to avoid hospitalization in his first few years of life (fortunately we also had no accidents or injuries that required a hospital visit)
  • A natural antibiotic
  • Natural pain relief
  • A natural tranquilizer
  • Quick reaction time when he woke for feeds allowing for peaceful night’s sleep
  • Strong healthy jaws and teeth (Malloclusion Study)
  • The Love Hormone (oxytocin) on tap at each feed, serving to strengthen our bond
  • Emotional security of our closeness (co sleeping and breastfeeding)
  • I am happy to have been his human pacifier

Breastfeeding my little one has been one of the most awesome experiences in my life.

This post is dedicated to those inspiring, generous, loving Moms who express, donate, give, share or sell their precious breast milk.  

I just started a series on breast milk donation on Happy Human Pacifier .   I would love your story. 

If you would like to share your experience of giving or receiving donor breast milk, please contact me on

Lauren Kinghorn is a Wife, Mother & Writer who has been blogging for just over a year on Inspiring Mompreneurs and Happy Human Pacifier. She is passionate about Shining the Spotlight on Breastfeeding Moms and Mom Entrepreneurs. You can find her blogs on

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  1. Heya Lynne, Thanks so much for publishing my guest post. You Rock! Love Lauren

    • Hey Lauren 🙂 I am so pleased to have your post featured on my website. I once had the chance to donate breastmilk to House Hadassa in Vredenburg when they had a very young baby there and I had loads of breastmilk. That was just the one time though.

      I was in contact with Milk Matters and I really wanted to donate breastmilk but life caught up with me and I never got around to it. But I did post a few things for Milk Matters on my website like the March For Milk 🙂

      I am so pleased to hear that you are doing a series of posts about donating milk, that is really awesome. Let me know when you have those posts live and I can share them and I will also happily add those links to this article too!

  2. Im a mommy that struggled with breast feeding but sure if i have a second will go better…my biggest wish was to be able to breast feed and i couldnt…but im blessed with a healthy baby boy

    • Aw, Lisa, I feel your disappointment, but yes, you’re so right to focus on the blessing. You’re a wonderful Mom to a healthy baby boy. That’s wonderful. Whatever you do, please don’t beat yourself up about it. Fed is best. Sometimes breastfeeding just doesn’t work for you and your little one, no one is to blame, and it can be a completely different experience with another baby.

      • I was so dissapointed but I focus on getting my boy to feed on his formula I won’t beat myself up as its not my fault its just every mom wish to breast feed well I did. But thank you for the advice and chat ment a lot.

  3. Better luck next time for me hope to be able to breast feed

  4. I want to breasfeed again if i will have a baby.

  5. I enjoyed everything about breastfeeding my baby

  6. wooooh i luv every minuteof breastfeeding my baby gul,the bond we share during that moment is so unexplainable

  7. My regret is that I stopped with the breast feeding. I should’ve held out just a little bit longer. But will not be giving up with my second one in the future.

  8. When I started my breastfeeding journey almost 6 months ago I was terrified. I was so scared of all the stories people tell you about nipples bleeding and cracking exc. But I was determined to at least try! So we started and I was/am very blessed as I have not had any struggles with breastfeeding at all. No blood, no struggling with latching or anything.
    I had ample milk form day one (or must i say day 3 as my milk came in on day 3!)
    So with it going so well from the start i got myself a good breast pump and just wanted to start pumping. A friend of mine gave birth just a few months before me and was donating so much milk. I also wanted to donate and give to someone in need.
    Unfortunately i never got the chance. Even though i have more than enough milk i can for the life of me not express. I have tried and tried and it is such an struggle. I was very sad in the beginning but have made peace with it, everything happens for a reason!!

    • Expressing is hard! I managed to breastfeed my daughter semi successfully and I breastfed my son till he was 13 months – very successfully. But expressing is something that I only ever did in emergencies. I remember I wanted to go out with a girlfriend when I was staying with my mom for a few days and she was going to look after my 3 month old son. It took me 2 days of expressing constantly to get something ridiculous like 150ml… which my son chowed like 30 minutes after I walked out the door LOL.

      I take my hat off to moms that express!

      You are so lucky that you found it so easy. I think it also has a lot to do with your baby – some babies latch easily while others struggle. But yeah I got really sore, bleeding cracked nipples my first time breastfeeding, it was terrible. Consider yourself very fortunate. Being a new mom is tough enough without the added pain and stress of nipple problems and struggling to breastfeed too.

  9. I breastfed my son for three years 3 months. The best 3 years of my life. I really enjoyed the special bond we had. All the breastfeeding “stages” were wonderful. Each with its own challenges ofcourse 😉 Totally different to feed a baby than a toddler 😉 I wanted to breastfeed and not give any formula. So when I went back to work it was challenging but im proud to say I succeeded.

  10. I breastfed my eldest boy for 18 months and my baby girl for 19 months and would recommend it to anyone. Its awesome and the thing is when you come from a family like mine, they hog your baby and you don’t get in bonding because they busy bonding with other members. I liked that only I could do the feeding and be the (best) pacifier as well. Demanding yes, but still rewarding.

    We needed milk for a family baby not so long ago and the breastmilk bank was extremely expensive per 100ml. Its nice to know there are other options for donated breastmilk.

  11. Breastfeeding was one of the best bonding experience with my 3 kids each was a little different but your first born is always the best I was fortunate enough to have more than enough milk and fed my cousin son. I don’t know why newer moms don’t like to breastfed it’s convenient ready at the right temperature with so many benefits for your baby I hardly ever take them to the doctor and they recover fast I wish I knew at that time our to donate milk. Don’t be ashamed to feed in public covered I just wish they made better areas for moms to feed at the malls not in the toilets.

  12. If there is one thing I am SO very grateful for it is being able to breastfeed. I do pump out milk for baby as he goes to daycare for half day, but he is exclusively breastfed whenever he is with me. The bond is something I can not describe. I decided to donate some milk when baby is being weaned of breastmilk – it is one of my goals. Unfortunately we live in a small rural town and I have to do my homework properly for this to work out. Been breastfeeding for 10 and a half months now and only planning to stop after winter when baby is about 18 months old and we probably want to start planning for baby number 2.

  13. My baby was born at 28 weeks, and we were so fortunate in receiving donated breast milk. I thought my milk would come in immediately, but it didn’t. Had it not been for some mom that cared to donate I don’t know what we would’ve done. I am so thankful. Luckily a day or so later I was able to express and am so happy to say that he’s 10 months old and has been breastfed all this time. I really wanted to pay it forward and donate myself however I just never produced heaps. I also didn’t realize how hard it is to produce milk when you don’t actually have contact with the baby. Pumping is a very hard job and just keeping up with the amount he required was alot of work. I drank and ate everything that I could to assist with supply. Big up to the moms that do donate. Your breast milk saved my baby’s life.

  14. What a beautiful article! I too have, quite unexpectedly, become an extended breastfeeder, and I love it! I remember seeing a mom nursing a toddler once and being so surprised that a child who was running around was still breastfeeding – and then I went on to breastfeed my first little one for over two years. My second child is 19 months now and a real lacta-holic. I find it so special knowing that I can soothe him so quickly when he wakes up and needs comforting. I have donated breastmilk, though just for a few months with each child, and I found it both challenging (finding the time to pump) and really rewarding. 🙂

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