A community of Texas moms is coming to the rescue for these preemie babies, who desperately need breast milk donations to help them stay healthy.
Alantria Smith’s 10-month-old twins, A’ja and Kyrie, are gaining weight and getting healthy, thanks to getting back on a breast milk-heavy diet.
“It took a huge part of me to even ask or reach out for help, for donor milk,” Smith told InsideEdition.com. “The amount of women in the area willing to help me, help Kyrie, it’s been wonderful. It’s been overwhelming and it’s been a blessing from God.”
A’ja and Kyrie were born about three months premature in November 2018.
They both initially had trouble breathing and swallowing. A’ja developed a hemangioma on her lip due to trauma at birth, and it quickly became clear that Kyrie’s condition would be more severe.
He was diagnosed with biliary atresia, a rare disease that means he would require a liver transplant. The disease also means he has jaundice and trouble keeping on weight.
It was also in the twins’ initial months that Smith started producing less and less milk.
“I was stressed out, I was worried about his health and what was going on with him and why I couldn’t help him,” she said. “I can’t produce enough to support both of them. I do still produce, but it’s probably one ounce out of each breast.”
She and her pediatrician worked out a plan to put the babies on formula specially designed for premature births, but Smith found that the twins still struggled to put on weight.
Suspecting that breast milk would help t heir progression, Smith reached out to her Dallas community and asked any local moms with extra supply to share to donate to her medically fragile twins.
“My Facebook messenger was [filled] with prayers, information about where I can sign him up to get donated milk from a milk bank,” she said. “People wanted to come donate their own personal stash because they oversupply. It was amazing.”
And thanks to the donated milk, Kyrie and A’ja have been thriving.
Kyrie’s eyes, which were once yellow from jaundice, are now clearing up, his hair is growing in thicker, his face has been getting chubbier, and his overall demeanor has been more active and engaging, she said.
The tumor on A’ja’s lip also appears less swollen, thanks to her new breast milk-heavy diet.
“A lot of women I know would beat themselves up, that they can’t nurture their own babies,” Smith said. “Ultimately, when it comes to your child’s health, there’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do.”