Lactation After Loss

Second trimester miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death will result in milk production. Typically, within one week after birth, milk production starts and can be both physically and emotionally painful. 

For some mothers, pumping and donating breast milk to another baby in need can be very healing.  [Read "Bryson’s Legacy: A Story of Milk Donation and the Love of a Family"]

Donated breastmilk is primarily provided to premature babies in NICUs and very ill infants. It can be life saving

The following pamphlet is a useful guide to engorgement, milk donation, transition to drying milk, and other information that may be a helpful to a grieving mother: Lactation after Loss - A Guide for Bereaved Mothers 

Other Resources for Bereaved Parents

Resource List for Bereaved Parents from Mikayla's Grace. Mikayla's Grace Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit created to support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals in Wisconsin.  Includes support groups and resources in Dane County.

Empty Arms Bereavement Resource List.  Includes reading list and bereavement keepsake links.

Lactation After Loss | Links for Professionals

Endorsements for the use of Donor Milk from Mother's Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes

Lactation after Perinatal, Neonatal, or Infant Loss by Melissa Cole, IBCLC, RLC, from Clinical Lactation 2012, 3(3):94-110.

Lactation Suppression: Forgotten Aspect of Care for the Mother of a Dying Child by Debra Busta Moore and Anita Catlin, from Pediatric Nursing 2003, 29(5):383-384.

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