Lila was the first donor human milk recipient at The Woman’s Hospital of Texas, and now she’s a healthy, beautiful 10-year -old.
Ten years ago, when baby Lila was a milk recipient, her mom Laura promised her that one day, when she was old enough to understand what impact donor human milk made on her life, Laura would bring her to the milk bank for a visit.
Today, we had the pleasure of giving them a tour of our milk processing labs and introducing them to our team.
Lila and her mom inspire us in so many ways! They remind us of our mission to provide safe donor human milk in order to save the lives of the most vulnerable, and they represent the lifelong impact that milk makes. Lila is a healthy, smart and beautiful young girl because she received donor human milk when she was very fragile.
Laura & Lila’s Story
Pregnancy is supposed to be a happy time, but sometimes the body doesn’t know this. Laura heard the shocking news that she had asymptomatic preeclampsia from her doctors at Woman’s Hospital of Texas in Houston, and they urgently told Laura that she would have to deliver her baby if she was to survive this serious pregnancy complication. Baby Lila was born far too soon, at only 28 weeks and 3 days gestation. She was devastatingly small and fragile, weighing a mere 1 pound, 3 ounces.
After an abrupt and frightening delivery, Lila was rushed to an incubator in the neonatal intensive care unit. Laura looked on in worry and wondered if her baby girl would survive this premature entry into the world. Little did she know that the incubator would be Lila’s home for the next five months of her life, and the NICU would become a second home for Laura.
The Woman’s Hospital of Texas had begun ordering donor human milk from the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin just 7 days prior to Lila’s birth. Little Lila was the very first recipient at the hospital to receive this precious milk donated by other compassionate mothers. Laura had planned on breastfeeding, but her own health condition required medication that made it impossible for her to provide milk to her daughter. Life-saving donor milk got Lila through those critical first days and weeks, and eventually months, as she worked hard to grow.
I will always be thankful and remember why she is here with us today—thanks in grand part to her “other mommies” as I like to call the milk donors. The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin continued the work I started, and provided for my daughter what she needed when I was not able to on my own. Her tiny feet make big strides every day toward a healthy existence and a promising future.
–Laura, Lila’s Mom