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Local Mother Donates Breast Milk After Tragic Loss

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A local mother faced with a tragic loss looked to help others in need as a way to heal herself. Newschannel at Nine's Rebekah Thurston has the story.

The importance of breastfeeding your child is recognized by nearly every health organization in the world. But when tragedy strikes and a newborn passes, the grieving mother still has milk to give. Here's a look at one local mother's choice to help others.

Michele Garvin had her little baby boy, Colin, in May of 2006.

"But he was sick. He was a very sick little guy. He needed a heart transplant," said Garvin.

And lost him just three short days later.

"I didn't have a baby but I was still off for 8 weeks because I had an emergency C-section, so that's when I started looking around," said Garvin.

Searching for a way to deal with the grief, but also with the milk that her body was producing.

"Everybody grieves differently... I really wanted to do something to give back," said Garvin.

It was soon after that Garvin found human milk for human babies, one of the dozens of organizations that recognizes the importance of feeding your baby breast milk.

"Breast milk has all the ingredients your baby needs. It not only helps your baby be healthier, but it decreases their chance of asthma, also eczema.... childhood leukemia. It also helps... prevent... childhood obesity," said Janet Tolly, a Lactation Specialist with St. John's.

Garvin was able to send the milk she pumped to a third world country, where the milk is much needed.

"It's very rewarding to know, and then to be able to look on the website and see the children... that definitely used it. It's very rewarding," said Garvin.

Janet Tolly, a Lactation Specialist with St. John's has also seen firsthand the healing effects donating breast milk has on a grieving mother.

"In order to help heal, regarding the emotional stress of losing a much loved child, she pumped her milk and was able to donate milk for almost 6 months to other babies," said Tolly.

There are many milk banks that moms can donate to for a list of a few nearby, click here.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, which is next week, St. John's Hospital is putting on their 19th Annual Breastfeeding Walk at Henson Robinson Zoo. It's Saturday, August 2 from 8 A.M. to noon.Local Mother Donates Breast Milk After Tragic Loss


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