This Teen Mom is a Hero

by Sara Levine

When you hear the phrase "teen mom," do adjectives like "self-aware," "mature," and "forward-thinking" come to mind? Maybe not, but Alaskan teen mom Kaleena Pysher might change your perceptions--after learning breast milk is better for babies, she sent her breast milk to the baby she gave up for adoption. The dedicated mom pumped sometimes multiple times a day, and would mail the milk to her baby's adoptive parents. Talk about commitment. Sidenote, I didn't even know that you could send breast milk through the mail, period, so I guess you learn something new every day.

Pysher told Newser that after getting pregnant at 18, she knew she didn't want to raise a child so young. She wanted to give the child good parents and a good education, and when she found out a former babysitter was looking to adopt, she knew she had found the right family. How perfect is that? It almost worked out too well.

Pysher has pumped her breast milk numerous times per day, sometimes pumping as much as 12 ounces every two hours. Now, I obviously don't know the going daily rate for breast milk, but that does seem like a lot. One of her shipments even weighed 80 pounds. 80 pounds?! How much pumping does that take? My nipples hurt just thinking about it.

Fortunately, she's now down to two pumps per day, and is planning to donate her excess milk to a milk bank in Colorado (her home state doesn't have one) that will send the breast milk to a NICU. I also didn't know that milk banks existed, so I guess at this point I've heard it all (just kidding).

Pysher does worry that she will lose touch with the baby's family since, as she put it, "As long as I've still given them breast milk, they still need me for something," but her donations are tapering off. Thankfully, the baby's parents assure her that no such thing will happen. They promise there will be "birthdays and video chats in the years ahead." I can only wish for the best for Kareena, her baby, and the adoptive parents. They sound like they will be one big, happy family.

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