Slidell, LA – Three times a day for 20 minutes, 34-year-old Bonnie Duplantis stores breast milk.
“I do it because, I do it and I have it. So I give it to whoever needs it,” stated breast milk donor Bonnie Duplantis.
She’s the chapter administrator for Eats on Feets Louisiana.
Three years ago, the mom of 4 had a devastating blow.
“I had a baby in 2010 that I lost. We lost him January of 2011,“ she said.
Baby Varun had a rare muscular dystrophy attacking his heart and lungs.
“We lost him to a cardio-respiratory fatality at 6 months. He had been on a feeding tube for about 3 and half months,” stated Duplantis. “I had been exclusively pumping for him to go through his feeding tube. Because his vocal chords were paralyzed and he couldn’t get anything into his mouth…. so then I had all this milk and no baby. I ending up looking for places to donate.”
After searching online, she came across Eats on Feets. It’s a group linking donors with mothers in need of breast milk, completely for free.
That’s where she gave more than 500 ounces she stocked up for her little boy, who didn’t survive.
Today she pumps, packs and puts breast milk into the hands of 3 mothers scattered across Louisiana; including first time mom Tiffany Deranger in Lafayette.
“To me it’s invaluable. Because he’s getting something that I couldn’t provide to him. To know that there is a woman out there who values breast milk enough that she would want to share for the development of another child is just amazing to me,” she said.
After 5 years of infertility and a failed adoption the Degrangers used social media, even YouTube, to find a birth mom.
“I’ve talked about our infertility struggles on Facebook. That’s what lead us to adoption. I have an adoption Facebook page. Then I found out about donor milk and found donor milk through Facebook… so for us it’s been an invaluable resource,” stated Deranger.
They say this chapter is more than a way to feed babies. It’s using Facebook to create friendships that help moms heal themselves and others.
“Starting and running the chapter…. I did that in my grief. Knowing that his milk went to somebody else to help them… helped,” said Bonnie Duplantis.
For more information on Eats on Feets Louisiana click here.
To see Rickey and Tiffany Degranger’s adoption story click here.