Community Donates Breast Milk After Mother Dies Days After Giving Birth

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CENTERTON, Ark. (KNWA) — A Centerton family is grieving after complications arose just two days after the birth of their child.

Chris and Jessica Manley were trying to have a baby for five years. Finally, after a long journey of trying alternative pregnancy methods, their miracle child was born just one week ago. But in the midst of a blessing, a tragedy occurred.

“It was the happiest I had seen from her for awhile, she was so happy just to be with him,” said Chris Manley.

Jessica and Chris had always wanted to start a family. “He’s our miracle,” Chris said.

But just one day after giving birth to baby Cayden, doctors found pulmonary embolisms in Jessica’s lungs. She died from a clot on Thursday.

“I was sitting here the other day, my dad and my brother had ran to the store to pick something up. They opened the garage when they got back and for a moment I thought she was back, was getting home and then I was crushed just a minute later when I realized that wasn’t it,” said Chris.

Jessica’s wish was for Cayden to be breastfed. That’s why a friend reached out to a Facebook group called “Bentonville Moms In The Know” asking for milk donations.

“The community absolutely responded, I’ve had so many messages and so many people come by and bring us breast milk that he will not have to worry about it for a little while,” Chris said.

Honoring his wife in a way he didn’t think would be possible. “I cant even describe it, it was one of the highlights from a very difficult week,” Chris said.

Supplying Cayden with enough milk for now, as Chris and Cayden figure out where they go from here.

“I want her to be remembered for who she was, she was an amazing individual, she loved everyone. She supported her support groups, she took excellent care of me. She took excellent care of her family.”

There are support groups on Facebook for mothers looking for breastmilk and also for mothers struggling to conceive like Jessica did for many years. 

1. Bentonville Moms in the Know – A group that Bentonville Moms can share their questions, suggestions and brilliant ideas with other moms. You do not have to live in Bentonville to be a part of it.

2. Human Milk 4 Human Babies – Arkansas – This page is specifically for posts about mother-to-family sharing of breast milk. Website: www.hm4hb.net

3. River Valley Milk Makers– A BFing support group For Women – For the Mama’s in the River Valley who need support we’re here! Support is crucial to a great start and continuously fulfilling Breastfeeding relationship.

4. NWA Mother to Mother Breastfeeding Support – Mother to Mother Breastfeeding support Group members must reside in Northwest Arkansas or surrounding areas and be either a pregnant or breastfeeding mother, or a woman who has breastfed in the past and still wishes to provide support to other mothers. 

5. IVF -During Pregnancy (& Beyond) Support – A group to follow on from ‘IVF Support’. This group is aimed at women who have become pregnant through IVF/IUI or after fertility difficulties. 

6. NWA Infertility Support – We are a group of incredibly strong women who are enduring (or have endured) the long, hard road of infertility, as well as those who support them on the journey.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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