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Liquid Gold

Karen Lyons
Walnut, CA, USA
From New Beginnings, Vol. 25 No. 6, 2008-09, p. 24

I work for a company that deals with hazardous chemicals. We conduct many training sessions to be compliant with government regulations and to keep the employees who work in that type of environment trained and safe. Part of my job is to help with the trainings for the new employees and refresher classes. Attendees come from all over the United States, and the training lasts for two weeks.

A recent class had 15 people that included three women. After the last class was over and everyone had left, I went in the training room to straighten up and restock the snacks and beverages.

As I checked the freezer, I saw a cooler. I was afraid one of the trainees had forgotten it. I looked inside hoping to find a name or way to identify the owner. Imagine my surprise and concern when I found a package of labeled breast milk inside! It was only about three ounces, but still -- I was worried!

I came back to the office and asked my boss, Jayne, if one of the women from the classes was a breastfeeding mother. I explained that there was a cooler in the freezer with some milk in it. Jayne told me it belonged to one of the male drivers. I was really curious about why he needed milk. My brain was going every which way. Was he using it for medical treatment? I doubted he was pumping it!

When the driver came back to the office he said, "I hear you have my breast milk?" I said, "Yes!" It turns out it was for his son. He drops him off at daycare on his way to work, but on that morning he forgot to give the milk to the daycare provider. Luckily, the daycare had enough on hand for the baby, so his son was okay that day. The father was glad that I knew what it was and hadn't thrown it away. I said, "Of course not! It is liquid gold!"

We had a great chat about his baby, growth charts for breastfed babies, employed mothers who are committed to breastfeeding, and pumping rooms (his wife works at a hospital with an amazing place to pump). Oh, of course I told him about La Leche League and that I am an LLL Leader. He said the doctor was encouraging them to start feeding their five-month-old son cereal, and we talked about signs of readiness for solids. We didn't talk as much as I would have liked since we were in the hallway at the office (using words like "breast milk") -- it was a bit odd in that setting. But now he knows where to go with any breastfeeding questions: La Leche League!

What I found in the freezer that day was "liquid gold": 100 percent natural and non-hazardous. I am glad I was able to connect those prized three ounces of breast milk to the driver who needed it for his son.

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