- Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra has a uncommon medical situation known as hyperlactation syndrome.
- The mother produces a lot breast milk she pumps for 5 hours a day and donates it to preemies.
- She has a Guinness World Report for donating the equal in milk of 800 two-liter bottles of Coke.
This as-told-to essay relies on a dialog with Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra. It has been edited for size and readability.
My A-negative blood sort is uncommon and in demand. Earlier than I bought pregnant with my older daughter, Isabella, in 2014, it made sense for me to donate blood as usually as I might. I preferred the truth that I used to be serving to folks.
Now, greater than eight years on, I donate my breast milk to preemies and different newborns who want the vitamin to outlive. Thus far, I’ve donated not less than 1,600 liters of milk to infants throughout the US. I lately set the Guinness World Report for the most important donation of breast milk by a person. It was enjoyable, however I hope it raises consciousness about milk donation.
I’ve a situation known as hyperlactation syndrome, and I produce as much as 200 ounces of milk a day and feed about 40 ounces of that to my 7-month-old son, Benjamin. The prognosis in 2014 lastly defined why I’d been lactating since I used to be 14 weeks pregnant. By the point I used to be 20 weeks pregnant, I used to be producing about 30 ounces a day. I’d put washcloths beneath my shirt to soak it up.
Anderson-Sierra drinks plenty of water to maintain herself hydrated whereas producing file quantities of breast milk.
Guinness World Information
Issues bought so uncomfortable that I bought a hand pump after which an electrical one. Producing milk was truly extra uncomfortable than being pregnant. I went on to make much more milk after my daughter Isabella was born.
It was essential for me to nurse her, however I didn’t know the way troublesome it will be to take care of a nursing relationship with my child with such a large quantity of milk to handle. I’d must pump earlier than breastfeeding. If I attempted to nurse her after I was full, she would primarily get waterboarded. I wanted to pump so usually that I used to be just about housebound. Life as a brand new mother is already isolating, however it felt even worse for me.
I wished to assist others who had been struggling to present their infants breast milk
I used to be recognized with hyperlactation when Isabella was 3 months outdated. I had a bunch of exams, together with a CAT scan of my pituitary gland, which was enlarged. The docs checked to see if I had a pituitary tumor that was inflicting an excessive amount of prolactin — thank goodness it wasn’t that. They mentioned that in my being pregnant, the hormonal shift led to the enlargement of the pituitary gland. It’s regular for a pregnant girl to have a barely enlarged gland after giving beginning, however it normally returns to its regular dimension. However mine was abnormally enlarged and had stayed that method.
The endocrinologist mentioned that I might take the remedy bromocriptine to scale back my prolactin provide. But when I did, I might doubtlessly lose all of my provide and never have sufficient milk to feed Isabella. The opposite choice was shut monitoring, medical care, and testing to be sure that I stayed wholesome. I went for the second choice as a result of I wouldn’t think about the concept of being unable to nurse my child.
I bought the concept to donate my milk to an area midwives’ apply even earlier than I had my daughter. You may’t donate blood while you’re pregnant, and I wished to assist different mamas who’d given beginning and had been struggling to present their infants breast milk.
Anderson-Sierra shops an enormous quantity of breast milk in these freezers forward of donation.
Then I began to donate it to a big milk financial institution primarily based in California. I additionally gave it to native mothers who contacted me on Fb. A whole lot of infants in my dwelling metropolis of Portland, Oregon, have ended up with my breast milk.
At first, the fridge within the kitchen was full of frozen milk that was prepared for donation. My husband, David, needed to take away the ice maker. Then we purchased two chest freezers to place within the storage. It doesn’t take lengthy for them to succeed in capability, despite the fact that I’m donating so lots of the pouches.
I bought pregnant with my second daughter, Sophia, two years after Isabella was born. I wanted to pump earlier than I nursed her, identical to I’d finished along with her sister. It’s the identical with Benjamin. It’s humorous as a result of all my youngsters had been tiny once they had been born. Then across the 4-month mark, they grew to become tremendous chunky as a result of they fed a lot.
I’m contemplating a double mastectomy sooner or later so I not lactate
In the meantime, my older youngsters nonetheless like consuming my milk of their oatmeal. They don’t get sick from childhood sicknesses like colds and viral bugs from college, and I imagine my milk has helped with their immune system.
Through the years, advances in know-how have given me much more freedom. I can pump whereas I’m out and about. I pump whereas I drive, utilizing a conveyable breast pump made by BabyBuddha. I’ve bought it all the way down to 5 – 6 periods a day. I’ve discreetly pumped throughout outside live shows surrounded by folks, and no person observed.
Anderson-Sierra exhibits how she pumps milk when she is on the go.
Guinness World Information
Nonetheless, I’m contemplating having a double mastectomy as a result of I really feel like I’ve exhausted the opposite medical routes. It’s exhausting to wrap my head round, although. If I do have the surgical procedure, will probably be some time after I’ve stopped nursing Benjamin. Within the meantime, I’ll maintain donating my milk.
Individuals have mentioned I’m an angel as a result of I’ve helped so many infants survive. Despite the fact that I broke the world file for milk donation, it’s exhausting for me to sit down with that reward and a spotlight. However good phrases add to the optimistic facet of this medical situation. They fill my cup.
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