Kelly Cox: Why Informal Breast Milk Sharing Is Crucial to Support Breast Cancer Survivors

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Breast cancer, a battle no one anticipates fighting, is not just a physical struggle but an emotional rollercoaster. Take it from me, Kelly Cox, Founder of Share the Drop and a breast cancer survivor.

Amidst the daunting journey through diagnosis and treatment, the desire to start a family can remain undeterred. For breast cancer survivors who become new mothers, the significance of breastfeeding extends beyond mere nutrition; it embodies hope, resilience, and the triumph of life over adversity. However, the journey of breastfeeding can be riddled with challenges for survivors, making informal breast milk sharing a crucial lifeline.

Imagine the joy of overcoming cancer, only to face the heart-wrenching dilemma of whether you will be able to breastfeed your newborn. The rigors of cancer treatments can often impact a woman’s ability to produce milk, leaving them grappling with feelings of inadequacy and disappointment. Yet, amidst this turmoil, informal milk sharing emerges as a beacon of hope. It offers a solution that transcends medical barriers, connecting mothers in need with those who have an abundance to share.

As a breast cancer survivor myself, I understand the difficulties faced for breast cancer survivors who want to supply breastmilk for their infant child, but can’t. That’s why I founded Share the Drop, a platform dedicated to bridging the gap between surplus breast milk and breast cancer survivors in need. Through this initiative, we aim not only to provide nourishment but also to foster a sense of community and support among survivors.

The Importance of Breast Milk Sharing

Access to breast milk is paramount for several reasons. Firstly, breast milk provides unmatched nutrition and immunity-boosting properties crucial for the healthy development of infants. Secondly, breastfeeding fosters a unique bond between mother and child, offering comfort and security during a time of uncertainty and upheaval. Finally, breastfeeding can serve as a symbol of triumph over adversity, reaffirming a survivor’s strength and resilience in the face of adversity.  For those survivors who can no longer produce breast milk, they often feel robbed of these benefits. 

For breast cancer survivors, the journey of motherhood is fraught with challenges, but it is also imbued with hope and resilience. Informal milk sharing plays a pivotal role in transforming this journey from one of hardship to one of triumph. By connecting donors with recipients through platforms like Share the Drop, we not only ensure access to vital nourishment but also create a network of support and solidarity among survivors.

The benefits of informal milk sharing extend far beyond the realm of nutrition. It embodies the spirit of compassion, empathy, and community, offering a lifeline to those navigating the complexities of motherhood after cancer. As a breast cancer survivor and advocate for maternal health, I am committed to championing initiatives that empower survivors and ensure that no mother feels alone on her journey.

In conclusion, informal milk sharing is not just about providing sustenance; it’s about fostering hope, resilience, and solidarity among breast cancer survivors. Through platforms like Share the Drop, we can transform the challenges of infant feeding into moments of triumph, ensuring that every survivor embarks on the journey of motherhood with the support and resources they deserve.

 

By Kelly Cox

 Kelly Cox is a registered prenatal yoga teacher, birth doula, licensed clinical social worker, and creator of Share the Drop.  Cox has worked with families throughout their childbearing years for 15+ years and now focuses on helping families without access to breast milk find donated milk in their communities.

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