Lactation After Loss

This information has been migrated and updated from the former Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central WI

The loss of a child is devastating. Grieving postpartum mothers deserve understanding and compassion. Second trimester miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death will result in milk production. Typically, within one week after birth, milk production starts and can be both physically and emotionally painful. 

For some mothers, pumping and donating breast milk to another baby in need can be very healing.  [Read “Bryson’s Legacy: A Story of Milk Donation and the Love of a Family“]

The following pamphlet is a useful guide to engorgement, milk donation, transition to drying milk, and other information that may be a helpful to a grieving mother: Lactation after Loss – A Guide for Bereaved Mothers 

This video may be a helpful guide managing milk supply after a perinatal loss.
Breast Massage and Hand Expression Following Perinatal Loss by Maya Bolman, RN, IBCLC and Ann Witt, MD, IBCLC, FABM

Other Resources for Bereaved Parents

Resource List for Bereaved Parents from Mikayla’s Grace. Mikayla’s Grace Inc. is a 501c3 non-profit created to support families with a baby in the NICU and those who experience the death of an infant at hospitals in Wisconsin.  Includes support groups and resources in Dane County.

Empty Arms Bereavement Resource List.  Includes reading list and bereavement keepsake links.


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