Baby who lost mum receives breastmilk donations in outpouring of love
A first-time dad who lost his beloved wife now needs help to nurture and nourish his baby girl. Learn more about his story, and how he's keeping the faith despite the heartache, here.
It is impossible to miss out on the Father’s Day posts on Facebook from last weekend up to now. Most of us paid tribute to our dads with loving messages and photos. Jonas Kahlil Cabanayan is a new father who celebrated dad’s day on June 17. But Kahlil marked his first Father’s day with heartache.
A few days earlier, June 11, would have been Kahlil and his wife Giki’s first wedding anniversary. It would also have been Giki’s first birthday as a mother.
Sadly, it seems that Kahlil was meant to celebrate those moments without his wife. His wife Giki passed away in March after giving birth to a daughter, their first-born, who they named Phoebe.
Since her passing, it has been, according to Kahlil in a Facebook note, a “daily battle” in which he sometimes lost. But he promised that he would do his best to be a good father to his daughter.
“Even though I am broken during this time, you have my word and assurance that I will do my best to be a good father to my daughter. I have not lost my faith,” the Filipino dad wrote in the post.
Along with all the support he and his family are getting, his faith is what is helping him cope with the loss.
Kahlil’s story has inspired many to offer their support – through breastmilk donations for the little one – who will have to grow up without a mum.
A freezer to keep the breast-milk donations was also given to them. Others have also donated baby clothes, mass cards, food and cash. It’s all in support for Kahlil in his journey as a single dad, according to ABS-CBN News.
At this point, some of you might wonder why there is such a thing as breastmilk donation. Why does Phoebe need breast-milk donations when there are numerous brands in the market offering formula milk?
It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) that breastmilk is the best nutrition for infants. It provides natural antibodies and helps prevent constipation. It lowers the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and helps raise your child’s intelligence.
Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of your child being overweight and lowers the risk of developing asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, and lymphoma.
What’s more, the AAP says babies should have only breastmilk for the first six months. Even after other foods have been introduced, they encourage continuous breastfeeding until the baby is a year old or until both the mother and child are willing.
Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of mothers developing breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
However, in some cases, mothers are unable to produce breast milk immediately after giving birth due to circumstances such as medical illnesses or premature birth. This is where breast milk donation comes in.
How Does Breastmilk Donation Work?
Some mothers produce more milk than their baby needs, so they opt to give to those who do not have enough. At times, other mothers lose their babies, but their breasts still continue to produce milk.
Breastmilk donors, like blood donors, are carefully screened first to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Smokers are not allowed to donate breastmilk. However they will be allowed to donate six months after they quit smoking. Donation is also prohibited if you take any medication 48 hours before donating.
Staff of breastmilk banks are trained in handling these donations properly, so mothers can be assured that the milk given to their baby is safe from any infection.
Donation of breastmilk is a tremendous help to mothers and babies – especially those who are born prematurely. And it is something that donor-mothers do for free.
If you are worried about how much you can donate, know that milk banks do not require a specific amount of milk from donors. Every drop of milk can help a mother and a baby!
In Singapore, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital has a breastmilk bank, for those babies who need this precious nutrition.
Republished with permission from theAsianParent Philippines.