How God Used People.com and Jenna Elfman’s Breasts to Work a Little Miracle in My Heart

photograph of a bottle of breastmilkI’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for People.com.

Yes, I could be spending my web time researching sustainably harvested wooden toys or reading about the dangers of fluoride, but sometimes a mama needs to zone out on fashion faux pas and celebrity breakups.

While star gazing today, I was naturally drawn to a headline that read, Jenna Elfman’s Most ‘Rewarding’ Breastfeeding Experience.

Turns out that Jenna’s firstborn son had trouble latching, so she pumped and bottle-fed him. After ten months, she amassed quite a stash of leftover milk in her freezer.

Meanwhile, a family friend adopted a methamphetamine-addicted baby who was struggling to keep formula down. Jenna caught wind of the situation and offered to give her surplus of milk to the sick baby boy. “The second the baby started on breast milk, he could hold it down,” Jenna said. “I literally kept him alive for several months.” To this day, Jenna says she has a special bond with the thriving 3-year-old boy.

The story stuck with me. As I did my morning prayers, I thought about what a cool gesture this was, and how God’s goodness is present in nearly everyone… even celebrities.

Fast-forward seven hours.

A new mom from my Bradley birthing class sent a frantic email to all the moms in our class. She’d been sick, her son had been sick, and her milk supply had dwindled significantly as a result. She had to supplement with formula, but her baby was rejecting it, and was essentially living on Pedialyte. She was worried and looking for help.

Reading her message, my heart went out to her. I didn’t think much beyond that as I didn’t know how I could help.

An hour later, I stopped dead in my tracks. DUH! I’ve got loads of breast milk in my freezer. Just last night I pumped eight ounces so quickly it was a little alarming. Why not pull a Jenna Elfman?

But I was scared.

Let’s face it; breast milk is a precious commodity. It felt risky to give away what could be my baby’s food when I go back to the office.

Then again, it was no coincidence that that article spoke to me just a couple hours earlier. In my experience, that’s exactly how God works… presenting these serendipitous opportunities to help others.

I knew what I had to do.

I’m happy to say the girl from Bradley is stopping by today to pick up 48 ounces of breast milk to get her through the next few days. By then, her supply should be back to normal as she’s pumping and nursing her boy like crazy in the meantime.

Thank you Jenna Elfman, for inspiring me to help a fellow sister. I never would have even thought of giving away my milk if it wasn’t for your example.

And of course, thank you God, for working all things together for good… even People.com.

How about you? When was the last time God worked in mysterious ways in your life?

About Genevieve

After battling weight, digestive, and immune system issues for years, I know firsthand the harmful effects of conventional life. Through a long road of detox, I discovered the healing power of natural living. This transformation spread into every area of my life - physical, emotional & spiritual. Now I'm on a mission to help other mamas live happier, healthier lives.

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31 Comments

  1. Cara Maria Leighty December 3 at 3:55 pm

    That’s awesome! After having my first baby (son) in July I noticed that I had become a MILK MACHINE!! Well, more like a cow ..I was a whale during pregnancy (which fit my son’s name of Jonah) …but yea, so much so that I started researching milk banks. I found the Mothers’ Milk Bank in Austin TX; which donates milk to preemies in hospitals and other sites like Human Milk 4 Human Babies. So I basically was able to connect to a few moms and start giving them my over-abundant supply of milk! I just made SO much! People were always telling me – don’t give away all your milk. But honestly ..if I didn’t start then my freezer and deep freezer would’ve been overflowing!! It’s crazy! I keep small stash of a few bins for Jonah but I have been giving my milk to several moms that need it locally! I feel it’s what God has Blessed me with, so why not Bless these mamas ..that way their babies don’t have to drink formula ..ugh :)

  2. Erika December 1 at 6:49 pm

    God worked a miracle when not only did I get pregnant after seven years with a beautiful baby girl but also a heart baby. I have taken care of medically fragile kids for y job but never mine. Apparently God has a little faith in my skills enough to make me a momma and a caregiver… My giveback or attempt, is making others aware of how easy it is to find a heart defect…

    CHD is a 1 in 100 chance. It kills more children than all pediatric cancers combined and it takes a noninvasive pulse ox test to prevent. It is still not mandated in 17 states even though our children are dropping dead at 4, 11 and 17 with missed heart defects. #chd #congenitalheartdefects

  3. Ed February 2 at 3:31 pm

    All you ladies should post some pic’s of your “milk machines”!

    • Veronica May 21 at 11:22 pm

      I agree. Women should have the freedom to expose their breasts in public, just like men can do. I think both men & women should support female equality (which includes public breast exposure).

  4. Amanda December 3 at 12:16 pm

    Genevieve- Yes! What a small world, indeed! Thanks for your support!

  5. Amanda December 3 at 9:45 am

    I can respond to God’s awesomeness and my own sharing of breast milk in the same story too. (BTW- just came over from SortaCrunchy and am excited to check out your blog). My youngest was born at just 23 weeks gestation weighing one pound, 3 ounces last September. He was given a 5% chance of living. He was too small and sick to take my milk for months so I pumped like crazy, had a really good supply and was able to build up literally thousands of ounces. By the time Quinn was able to eat the milk (through a tube at first) it was only tiny amounts. I tried calling milk banks to donate but no one ever returned my call. Then my good friend found out the baby they had been waiting for through adoption was born, at just 33 weeks gestation and my other friend with a full term baby was struggling with her milk supply. So- in a nutshell I fed not only my own son (and am still pumping for him at 14.5 months) but my friends adopted son for 6 months, supplemented my other friend with milk for a few months and gave my four year old nothing but my milk as well (he never even noticed) for over 2 months. It is definitely one of the best gifts I have ever been able to give. I thank God for allowing me to provide for others and I am happy to say I have a very healthy (though tiny), thriving 14 month old now. Take that 5% chance of living. :)

    • Genevieve December 3 at 10:01 am

      Oooooo!!!! I got the chills from your story, Amanda! Love it! Breast milk is *such* a gift as it is literally life or death if you don’t want to use formula. So awesome about Quinn!

    • jill December 3 at 10:26 am

      Wow! Busy girl you’ve been. This is inspirational. My grandson has been sick, he’s almost two. When others in the family tell my daughter with distaste on their faces to wean him, he’s too big to nurse, I tell her to keep going for as long as he wants/needs. Without nursing there would be days when he would eat nothing at all. We thank God that he still nurses, there’s a reason for everything.
      Thank you for sharing.

      • Rebecca M. December 14 at 10:34 pm

        Your daughter and grandson are SO fortunate to have your support, especially with others in the family being so negative! Way to go, grandma! :-)

    • Genevieve (MamaOnABudget) December 3 at 12:09 pm

      I have to ask… are you Amanda R in CA of the “Prayers for Baby Quinn” facebook family? If so, I’m a friend of your SIL, Gloria =)

      Small world!

  6. jill December 3 at 1:15 am

    Oh, I love this! I wish sharing breastmilk was much more common and accepted.
    My grown son got transverse myelitis. Once he was finally at my home, with my daughter and grandson we tried to figure out foods that would be healthy to improve his immune system. We thought it would be difficult to incorporate vitamins and unprocessed foods into him but finally found the perfect solution. He loved my protein shakes, even with spinach, flax seed and other things. But he had no idea we also added breastmilk until months later. I feel that it helped his immunity tremendously. Just over a year later he is able to drive and do most everything now for himself.
    thank you all for sharing and letting me share. Not everyone likes to hear this, just watch their faces.

    • Genevieve December 3 at 8:21 am

      Wow! Pretty amazing… glad to hear your son is doing better!

  7. Melanie B December 2 at 5:17 pm

    That’s so awesome that you were able to donate it and that she was willing to accept it! What a wonderful gift

  8. Rob O. December 2 at 11:41 am

    I’m a big proponent of donating blood, but this… Well, this is so far beyond that! It’s a tremendous, intimately personal, and utterly selfless gift.

  9. Dawn December 1 at 9:19 pm

    We were on an out of country family vacation with our two year old, having left the very little baby home with Auntie (with a good supply of breast milk for her). I was pumping like mad on vacation to keep up my supply. Our question was w…hat do we do with all the milk? We were in another country and although we asked, were not able to donate it. We also did not have refrigeration in our hotel room. My husband and I were discussing the dilemma when our two year old son walked by drinking from a bottle filled with my recently pumped milk! The perfect family solution!! We were so surprised, thinking he would not like the flavor anymore. Everyone was very happy. Now that’s teamwork! : D

    • Genevieve December 1 at 10:08 pm

      Ha! That’s great! Glad your milk didn’t go to waste…

    • Genevieve December 1 at 10:15 pm

      Aww, Kristen, I just read your story. What a great example of God’s goodness in our lives!

    • La'El Pierce December 2 at 9:46 am

      I couldn’t find a way to subscribe to your blog???? Is there a way???

      • Kristen Jeffery December 2 at 7:13 pm

        Yes, if you go to the home page of my blog.
        I love reading all these stories. I am in the process of becoming a milk donor! I am beyond excited and when I am little further into the process I will blog about it!
        Love all these stories!

  10. La'El Pierce December 1 at 1:29 pm

    Awww, that is so sweet of you!!! I don’t have a problem sharing my white gold, but in this area (very rural TX) people would think I was nuts for offering….lol. They’ll happily give their children milk from some unknown cow’s breast, but not a friends milk….lol. I would honestly fear telling my friends that I dosed my sick three year old with breast milk yesterday. But gosh, he feels 100% better today! Thank You Heavenly Father for giving us such and AWESOME commodity!

    • Genevieve December 1 at 10:17 pm

      I know, a couple of friends of mine thought it was weird to give someone my milk but to me it is SO SUPERIOR to a powdery substance made in a factory. When you say “dosed” your 3 year old, what exactly do you mean? That’s awesome that the milk helped him just curious how much, how you administered, etc. Thanks!

      • La'El Pierce December 2 at 9:39 am

        I have a store of frozen breast milk in six ounce bags. I took one of these and put it in his morning instant breakfast shake (the only thing he chooses to consume before noon) and filled the rest of the cup with cows milk as per usual. He won’t willingly drink breast milk as he deems it his bothers food, but if it is hidden in cow’s milk he can’t really tell. Usually I would have just put a probiotic in his milk, but we are out and I am sick as well and didn’t want to drag us all out to get some.

  11. Megan at SortaCrunchy December 1 at 11:25 am

    Mama, I LOVED this. His Hand is always at work, isn’t it? Glory to God. What a story! ♥♥♥

    • Genevieve December 1 at 10:18 pm

      Aw, thanks Megan! He is so good and it amazes me how He can be so down to the details in our lives! Amazing.

  12. Keelan December 1 at 8:44 am

    When I was pregnant with my last baby my appendix burst. I had to have surgery 6 weeks later to remove every thing that was damaged. It was suggested that if they didn’t have to do a hysterectomy, that I still have my tubes tied because the tubes were so damaged that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again safely. I grieved the decision and inability to ever carry another child. But, God does work in mysterious ways! I am now 25 weeks pregnant and enjoying every day of this little ones life! God is so kind and so good, and nothing is impossible for him! : )

    • Genevieve December 1 at 10:21 pm

      WOW! That’s amazing. So you had your tubes tied and you still got pregnant? Either way, I love when the Great Physician decides how our body’s will respond and heal :)

      • Genevieve (MamaOnABudget) December 3 at 3:15 am

        A friend linked this post, and it totally made me smile…

        Then seeing you were another Genevieve – that was just icing on the cake! =)

        • Genevieve December 3 at 8:22 am

          My oh my! I never meet Genevieve’s! How fun! Thanks for introducing yourself. Glad you liked the post and I’m gonna check out your blog :). Cheers!

          • Genevieve (MamaOnABudget) December 3 at 12:10 pm

            I’m a very infrequent blogger there, unfortunately. But every now and then something worthwhile gets posted =)

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