Breastfeeding Moms Join Forces to Donate Milk to Baby After Tragic Loss of Mother
It is with a heavy heart that I share this story with you to start off the new year. My hope is that it will inspire each of you to rise up, this year, to take action in your own breastfeeding community and get involved by supporting breastfeeding mothers when and where you are needed. December 19th was the day that I was added to the Milk for Brixton Closed Facebook Group. Not having the time at that very moment to look into it further, I came back to it the following day only to discover that a breastfeeding baby, youngest sibling of 5 children, had recently lost his mother. I was floored with disbelief. I wanted to help. Since I am exclusively breastfeeding, I began to think of how horrible it must have been for the 5 month old, Brixton, to have to transition after this loss. However, there was such a beautiful rainbow in the midst of this storm. A tightly knit community of babywearing, breastfeeding mothers — bound together by this silenced mother-baby bond, decided something needed to be done to help young Brixton honor his mother’s goal to breastfeed for 1 year. Kristina Pulistar, Southern California babywearing and breastfeeding mother, founded the Milk for Brixton Project and found a way to streamline all of the efforts of mothers wanting to contribute breast milk, storage space, and transportation services for the grieving family. December 23, 2014, I had the opportunity to speak with Kristina Pulistar on the phone. I offered my condolences, thanked her for taking on such a time consuming task, and asked her to share Liz’s story with me. I couldn’t help but feel emotional about the whole thing. I didn’t have any milk to offer to donate since I wasn’t storing any, but that very day, I changed my diet and have continued to eat a diet focused around building a more efficient milk supply in an effort to join the moms who have generously donated their time and breast milk to help Brixton reach Liz’s goal of 1 year of breastfeeding. I have said it before and I’ll say it again if you pump exclusively to provide nourishment for your child, you are breastfeeding. Brixton is now being fed breast milk by proud mothers across Southern California! Together they are using this situation to normalize one the oldest methods used for infant feeding – donor milk! Kristina has created a clear plan to pump, store, drop off/pick up, and deliver large amounts of breast milk to Liz’s family, to honor her goal of breastfeeding Brixton until he is 1 year old.
The Unfortunate Story of Liz’s Passing
“Liz Marquez was a healthy 32 year old mom of 5. She suffered from cardiac arrest on December 7, 2014 and entered a coma. She had begun to show minor signs of improvement, but tragically, after 8 days in a coma An EGG test confirmed no activity in her brain. On day 9 (December 16, 2014) the family decided remove the life support and allow her to pass on.
“I know how important it was to my wife that our child be purely breast fed for at least 1 year, I feel it’s part of my commitment to carry that goal out for my wife.” -Brian M. (Husband)
“I love the breast milk donation program, my sisters only wish was to have her preemie baby taken care when she couldn’t. Breast feeding mommies rock!” -Stacey V. (Sister)
“When Brix was born at 32 weeks a preemie in the hospital. And Liz was barely producing enough milk I was feeding my 4 month old baby and pumping for brixton. My body couldn’t do it tho. I was unable to feed 2 babies. So Liz started getting donor milk. I would stumble across some every now and then to help out. I was always on the hunt in my mommy group. With my best friend gone I was worried about how I was going to get enough milk for Brixton. Then I seen an amazing person offering to drive all around to collect breast milk. I was amazed at the kind of friends my best friend had made in the baby wearing community. Kristina is a true angel to start this. this is amazing what she has started. And it’s even more amazing seeing all these mommas ready to jump in and help. People who have never met Liz or her babies are touched by her story and are willing to help. I am so happy to see this help for my best friend and Brixton.” -La Nina W. (Childhood Friend)
From Kristina Pulistar, Founder of the Milk for Brixton Project:
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