What motivated us to create Happy Bellies, Happy Babies:
When I was 19 I had learned about surrogacy and it touched my heart so much that I had made up my mind that one day I would be a surrogate and help other families achieve their goal of becoming parents or to grow their family even more. After several years of working towards bettering my life and getting on the path to having my family complete and stable by the time I turned 30 yrs old, I set my heart to joining the surrogacy world. My husband was a big supporter of my choice even as soon as shortly after we began dating. Our youngest daughter was born when I was 30 completing our family of 5!! Beautiful!
Several months later I went online and began my search to become a surrogate. This was an amazing and emotional journey for myself, my husband, and our children. With the support of an amazing agency, the surrogates in the agency, and my friends and family, I had 3 successful surrogacy pregnancies and births.
After the first birth I was making precious breastmilk. The parents had made the personal choice to not use my breastmilk for feeding their babies and instead they went an alternative route. Knowing they did not need my breastmilk I still pumped for my postpartum health purposes; now I had all this breastmilk and no baby to feed it too.
This brought me to wanting to learn more about what I can do with the precious breastmilk since throwing it away just wasn’t an option for me. Well, one of the surrogates contacted me and told me about a family whose premie born son had medical conditions that required him to only drink breastmilk and how she was no longer available to help that family and baby boy. She asked if I would be interested in helping provide breast milk for the remaining time.
Of course I could! I provided breastmilk for that family for about 4 months until their boy was getting old enough to began a new path on his nutritional options. This really brought insight to me about a whole new world of helping families in a way I am able to I was not aware of before this. As a breastmilk/breastfeeding mom and advocate I truly understand the desire to feed our babies with breastmilk even when for any reason moms are unable to whether for medical or personal reasons.
After the second birth I discovered a site that brought together buyers and sellers of breastmilk and I began the process of learning everything I would need to know to find families in need and help them.
It was a difficult and confusing process with very little helpful information on what to do. After finally setting up an ad, I was dealing with scammer emails and other uncomfortable responses. However, I was not going to get discouraged as I knew there are families out there looking for help and I was determined to help them and that was the only site there was for this type of service.
Over time I was able to become successful in helping multiple families though selling and donating my breastmilk online to them, even after the third surrogacy birth. The feeling was wonderful. Unfortunately, it was not easy to know what to do when I was contacted by them. How did everyone figure out the details and shipping costs, etc…? I went through a lot of trial and error and learned a lot from my efforts. I became very successful with this process from pumping breastmilk to getting it to the families in need.
After becoming experienced I learned of surrogate friends who also wanted to help families by providing them with their extra breast milk. Plus I was receiving many emails from other potential sellers from that site who were coming to me for help on what to do because they were also struggling to get the help they needed. I started to think about writing a help guide for everyone to use. I wasn't quite sure what I should do.
After dealing with the all the concerns, plus other issues and then my husband hearing a podcast that spoke of a woman who was scammed through that site that I was going through, I just had to do more. She was not the only one and that was concerning.
After a failed attempt at reaching the site owner I did more research online. I read reviews from others who used that site, what I discovered is that there is a strong need for a safer community for buying, selling, and donating breastmilk.
I took action putting my web design skills and personal years of experience as an exclusively pumping mom to work and Happy Bellies, Happy Babies was born…