This is the breastfeeding story of Stephanie Ives. She shared her story with me to raise awareness about milk sharing. Stephanie is a cancer survivor, a BUSY mom and the owner of the building and remodeling company, Custom Dwellings.
“I breastfed my older two… All 3 of my kiddos were tongue tied which affected each of them differently. They all had their frenulums clipped within a week or so of birth. My youngest had to have hers revised again at 6 months because the initial clip wasn’t enough and the tissue regrew. With my oldest, I had oversupply. My middle one, I had to fight for every ounce and was eventually diagnosed with Graves disease/hyperthyroidism which led to the low supply!
In 2009, I was diagnosed with a chronic blood cancer. I unexpectedly became pg in 2012 with an IUD in place. The baby survived the IUD removal and chemo!
My oncologist wasn’t sure if I would be able to breastfeed or if my cancer would rebound postpartum. I began researching milk sharing and had several mamas pump for me as a backup plan. I wanted to have a few weeks of milk already in the freezer before my little one came so we would have options.
My perfect baby girl, Lizzy, was born in December of 2012. My milk came in and my cancer is still in remission. We’ve been breastfeeding for 13.5 months now! I was able to share the donated milk with two other mama’s babies. Currently, my youngest just nurses on one side due to recurrent mastitis in one breast. The best remedy was just to not nurse from that low producing side as it is prone to clogged ducts and was just painful to nurse. Wee have two breasts for a reason! Even now, I try to spread awareness of contemporary milk sharing.”