A mother’s love: Alumna’s breast milk nourishes premature newborns
Ten thousand ounces of milk. That’s what Monique (Witkowski) Borzick ’06 provided to premature newborns as a result of pumping for 10 months following the birth of her third child.
She made the donation of more than 78 gallons to the Tiny Treasures Milk Bank, completing the effort last fall.
“My inspiration was to help preemie babies,” said Borzick, who knows breast milk contains enzymes that are crucial to the development of infant immune systems.
Borzick majored in physical education and was on the Redbird swim team. She met her husband, Tristan, at ISU. He supported her in the effort that came with numerous restrictions and rules. No medication was allowed, blood work was taken every 123 days, and a disciplined pumping schedule had to be followed.
“I would wake up and pump at 7:30, again at 10:30, at 1:30, and pump again at 5, 8, and around 11 or 11:30 right before I went to bed. I was up at 1:30 a.m. again to pump, then again at 4. I did that every day,” Borzick said.
The routine was exhausting, as she is mom to three and works full-time as the aquatics director at Lockport Township High School in Illinois. And yet she did not waiver, even when the family traveled from their home in Plainfield to Disney, where the family photo above was taken.
“My husband was fantastic during the whole process,” she said. “He helped me box all of my bags. He dropped them off at FedEx.”
There were frequent trips needed during the 10 months, as Borzick spent more than 208 hours pumping. Her donation filled 1,700 bags that were kept in three deep freezers. Fifty hours were needed to prepare those bags for shipping.
“It was very trying,” Borzick said. “I sucked it up and knew what I had to do. I had a goal in my mind. In the end, it was so rewarding.”