If you are recently bereaved, no doubt you are suffering from the unbearable emotional and physical pain of your breasts filling with milk. There is no worse "slap in the face" than our bodies furiously working to provide nourishment for the baby who is no longer alive, yet that same process establishes us as fierce, strong mothers capable of nourishing our young.
Many years ago, founder Carol McMurrich co-authored this pamphlet on Lactation after Loss with a local lactation counselor. It is now being used in over 20 states nationwide. It is different from the advice many bereaved mothers get in the hospital or from websites because it does address how complicated emotionally the milk can be.
For some mothers, the milk feels simply cruel. They just want it to be gone, as quickly as possible.
For others, the milk feels like a powerful tie to their baby. They may not want to pump or express, but having the milk there feels strangely comforting.
Many mothers feel a curiosity about their milk, possibly because of the obvious tie to their baby. Some want to express some to save in the freezer, or to have milk jewelry made in memory of their baby. It's not unusual for a mother to taste her milk, just to know what her baby would have experienced.
If you are struggling with how to cope with lactation and would like further thoughts or advice, please let us know.