When my daughter entered the world at 28 weeks and three days, we were preparing for the worst. I had gone into labour, had heavy bleeding and an infection. As we prepared for the emergency caesarean section, my husband and I were terrified. We didn’t know if our child would survive. At that moment, we decided to give her the middle name ‘Hope’ because we were so hopeful we would hear her cry, her heart would beat and that she would one day thrive. We were in for the biggest fight of our lives.
A wonderful lady came to talk to me before the caesarean. She told me how important breastmilk is for premature babies and how lucky I was that the Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank was available at Mercy Hospital for Women. At the time I didn’t know about all the benefits of breastmilk, but I knew I wanted to give my daughter the best chance for a happy and healthy life.
During Abby’s delivery, we discovered I had placenta accreta requiring a five-litre blood transfusion and hysterectomy. Three days later, I came down with Ogilvie Syndrome requiring further lifesaving surgery. My body had gone through so much trauma that I was unable to produce breastmilk. It took three weeks, lactation consultants and medication, and I was finally able to meet Abby’s milk demands myself.
After many appointments, Abby was cleared by her doctors. She is a healthy child; she was just born too early.
‘A huge thank you to the Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank and all the breastmilk donors for giving my daughter your liquid gold, your time and generosity, and the best possible start to life”
Stephanie Brebner, mother of Abby
In 2021, as we celebrate the 10–year anniversary of the Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank, we need your support to purchase much-needed equipment. We need replacement freezers and a new freezer and pasteuriser, so that we can continue to expand our services across Victoria. We need your support to give babies like Abby the best start to life. Every drop counts!