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I didn’t want to have photos of him – Bulgaria

Born at 26 week’s gestation, this little boy received over 104 litres of donor milk over a period of 344 days starting when he was 16 weeks old. The reasons behind this extended access to donor milk were his prematurity and his mother’s desire to ensure her baby received the most beneficial milk in their circumstances. Here is their story.

‘My son was born prematurely, weighing 1 kilogram. Despite my efforts to keep my breastmilk and breastfeed, this did not work and my breastmilk began to decline progressively. We had to use formula to cover his needs. Then I researched the topic of donor breastmilk, firstly because it was recommended to me and secondly because I believed it would be better for my baby even though I don’t deny the benefits of formula. 

I believe my son’s good health is as a result of the donor milk. Whilst receiving it he had almost no stomach problems, he slept well and he was full of energy. Many mothers who, for whatever reason, cannot breastfeed their children begin to blame themselves. Receiving donor milk definitely helps mothers to maintain the necessary peace of mind and maintain the confidence that their children are growing with the right food.

In my opinion, the fact that my baby was fed with mother’s milk – even though it was not my own – made a major contribution to my child being as healthy as he is now. I give huge thanks and admiration to all the mothers who donate their milk. This is an incredible help for those who for one reason or another cannot breastfeed their children. I give my thanks also to the entire team of the Human Milk Bank in Sofia.’

Describing the photographs of her son she adds: ‘The first was taken when he was 2 months old and his extreme prematurity was no longer obvious. He was so ‘grown up’ here that the nurses in the NICU had already dressed him. When your child is born so early and one day is well but the next day has got worse, you constantly tremble about whether he will survive and it meant that I didn’t want to have photos of him. Now I’m sorry that I don’t have those memories for him. In the second photo  he has grown up. He walks, runs, explores, discovers and is sometimes a little naughty Now it is hard to take a photo because he almost never stands still!’


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