Pumped!

I am pumped about something that I have the opportunity to participate in as a mom. Literally pumped! I had no idea this existed previously and I feel like it is worth passing on to y’all because I know some of you are pregnant, have just had a baby, or know someone in the same situation. So what is this about?

It turns out you can donate breastmilk. I know, the initial reaction I get from most people is ‘ew’. I get that, and felt the same way, but got over it when I realized I had an opportunity to help out premature and sick infants whose moms can’t breastfeed. Doctors will often prescribe human breastmilk for babies and I have the opportunity to help.

Austin is home to one of the larger milk banks in Texas, the Mother’s Milk Bank. If you have a good supply of milk, you can donate your excess much like you donate blood. There is no financial or tax benefit but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter.

When I was still considering going back to work, I started pumping during our night time or morning feedings (your body naturally produces more milk at night and in the morning). I started creating a stash of milk in our freezer for fear that I would not be able to keep up with Jude’s need for milk once I was back at work. Work = stress and stress can mean a drop in milk production (not to mention the logistics and frequency needed of pumping at work). Now that I am staying home, I have no worries about feeding him. Sure, we may use the occasional bottle or two so we can go on a date night, but I have no need for the 200+ ounces in the freezer! So today I am donating it all.

If this is something you are interested in then contact your local milk bank to find out more. They often prefer that you use their containers for storage as milk fat can stick to the plastic in most storage bags and the fat is most needed for the premature babies growth. They also will have some guidelines about donated milk and medicines and alcohol, as well as requiring a blood test and medical history.

As a woman and a mother, I feel lucky to get to help out other mother’s babies that are in need. Maybe you will consider donating if you are able?

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7 Comments

  1. hohnstreiters
    Posted September 21, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Very cool! I never knew they had such a thing. I’ll definitely keep this in mind as I approach Baby H’s due date. It’s definitely something I’d be interested in…thanks for sharing!

  2. Posted September 21, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Wanna donate the 200 oz. to Rhys – that way I wouldn’t have to pump so much? 😉 No seriously, I have heard of these milk banks and love the idea that there are other babes out there getting the best nourishment possible.

    I feel as though my milk supply has certainly dropped since I’ve gone back to work, and it’s driving me insane. I breastfed Eden until she was 13 or 14 months old, so it’s making me nervous that my supply is so low at the moment. Time to get a pumpin’ and drinking more water, I guess. 🙂

    • Posted September 21, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah it’s crazy how much water I crave right now! Have you tried fenugreek? I know some working moms that swear by it. I drank some tea that had fenugreek in it when we moved because of the stress but don’t anymore because you can’t donate milk with 12 hours of consuming fenugreek!

  3. Posted September 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Permalink | Reply

    How encouraging to hear you’re donating breast milk! I did that too and became friends with Mom’s in the NICU whose babies benefited from that. You are blessing many families.

  4. Posted September 21, 2009 at 9:08 pm | Permalink | Reply

    This doesn’t illicit my “ew” response at all – in fact, it gives me the warm fuzzies. I think it’s fantastic. You have the rare opportunity to be able to provide something that not all of us can and it’s awesome that you’re taking advantage of that opportunity!

  5. Tara
    Posted September 22, 2009 at 7:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    That is great! We were just having discussion on one of my dietitian listserves about this. People often think they only have a choice between breast milk and formula, when formula is actually fourth on the list of possibilities (breast, pumped, donor, formula). Good for you!

  6. Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    That’s great that you are donating. We have that here in the UK too, I know a couple of people who have done it and hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to some day too. It seems so few people know about it though – it’s great that you are raising awareness.

2 Trackbacks

  1. By A different kind of donation « Musings on September 21, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    […] Link to Original Post […]

  2. […] did end up having a little bit of a let down earlier this month. Remember me telling you about the milk bank donations? It turns out that they did the blood test on me and I have one out of five proteins that make up […]

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