By Charlotte Nisbet
A desperate mum turned to Facebook strangers to provide breast milk for her newborn son after vowing to avoid formula.
Joanne Campbell, 32, struggled to breastfeed her son, Hayden, now six months old, as he was tongue tied and her own supply was low.
The mum-of-one, from Sydney, Aus, was devastated but quickly took to Facebook in a bid to find other mum’s who were willing to donate their breast milk.
After finding dozens of support groups online, Joanne vowed to avoid milk formula for Hayden after realising it was giving him stomach ache.
Hayden now drinks up to one litre of free donated breast milk from Facebook mums each day which Joanne drives round to pick up in frozen batches – and she said she couldn’t be happier with the experience.
Joanne, a stay at home mum, said: “I found out about these Facebook groups for mum’s donating their milk before I gave birth.
“I was hoping to donate my own milk to help others but I had no idea that I would then need it myself.
“After writing my first post about needing milk for Hayden, I was inundated with messages from women who were willing to help.
“I went to one woman’s house for my first batch of frozen milk and have since used another seven donors since in a bid to feed Hayden with breast milk instead of formula.
“Hayden didn’t get on well with the formula based products as it gave him stomach ache so I did everything I could to avoid it.
“I store the breast milk in my freezer and defrost it daily as Hayden needs about one litre per day.
“Some people find it disgusting and don’t understand why we’d share another human bodily fluid but I find it so normal now.
“There are some bacterial diseases you can catch through breast milk but I don’t believe any mums on the Facebook group would donate their breast milk if they had anything that could harm another baby.
“Hayden has benefited so much from other women’s milk.”
Joanne struggled to breast feed Hayden when he was born as he was tongue tied.
She said her partner Adam Bahan, 31, also supports the unusual feeding technique.
She added: “He couldn’t latch on properly and I was given a pump by the hospital so I could feed him with a bottle afterwards but it was faulty.
“My supply was really low at this point and I had no choice but to use formula until I found a way to find milk donors online.
“The mums on Facebook have been a huge lifeline as without them Hayden would still be facing agonising stomach cramps from the formula milk.
“My partner, Adam, trusted that I knew what was best for Hayden so I posted online for possible milk donors in Sydney and the rest is history.”
Joanne claims hospitals in Sydney do not provide breast milk for babies unless they are born premature.
She added: “Ideally we’d be able to access it through clinics and hospitals as we’d know it had been screened for diseases but I trust the mum’s I meet online.
“I hope the next time I have a baby that I’m able to breastfeed myself now I know more about it all.
“I’m now introducing solids into Hayden’s diet so he won’t need as much breast milk as before but I still like to keep a freezer stash as it can last for months.”