Breastfeeding women
Women take part in an attempt to set a new world record for the most number of mothers breastfeeding their child simultaneously at the same venue, at the Hospital Universitario San Vicente de Paul in Medellin August 1, 2014. About 200 women took part, failing to break the current Guinness World Record of 3,541 women. Reuters/Fredy Builes

Eight months after giving birth to a stillborn, Amy Anderson decided to be a breast milk donor to fight against necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), one of the most common causes of death for premature babies.

Anderson’s baby, Bryson, was stillborn at 20 weeks due to a lower urinary tract obstruction. She was told that it was too early for her body to produce milk. Her doctors advised her to bind her breasts, instead, she started pumping milk to help parents in need.

"I thought to myself, OK, I have this milk. Now I need to figure out what to do with it," Anderson told TODAY. She tried to suppress the milk, but she was in pain, so pumping the milk was a huge relief.

Anderson donated all the milk she produced to five milk banks in four US states and Canada to fight NEC, a painful bowel disease that destroys parts of the intestines. It is the second-leading cause of mortality in premature babies in the US. Experts say that human breast milk can lower NEC up to 79 percent.

“Though it's not the best choice for everyone, it truly was the best decision that I have ever made as it helped to foster healing and gratitude in an otherwise dark and desolate time," Anderson told Yahoo7. "It gave meaning to my Bryson's life and helped others from feeling the unfathomable pain of baby loss."

This decision was not met with universal acclaim. Her employer told her that taking breaks to pump breast milk was pointless because her baby is dead. The law does not give rights to bereaved or surrogate mothers, which is why she left her job and started a campaign to change the law.

She currently volunteers at a local Mother’s Milk Band to promote awareness of breast milk. She teaches breast milk donation not only for bereaved mothers but for any mother with an excess supply.

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