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Old 09-17-2010, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mommas,

Have any of you donated or considered donating milk? My best friend adopted last year and went through HUGE hurtles buying and arranging for donated milk. I really admired the effort she went through to provide breastmilk to her son.

I breastfed both my kids for 2 years and have only used a pump a couple times. I'd like to donate, but I don't want to commit to a mom that I'll give her milk and then find it overwhelming.

Anyone considering it? Experience with donating?

~Debra, wife to the best DH, Nuno (9/98). Blessed SAHM momma to DS Diogo (3/04), DS Cruz (9/07) and DD Beatriz 2/2/11!!  
 
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Old 09-17-2010, 11:34 PM
 
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You can donate to a milk bank. Then you're not committing to one mom who is depending on you.

Bri helpmeet to Chaise mama to K(2/07)  M(3/09) & A(2/11)

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Old 09-18-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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I barely had enough milk to pump enough to go to work, despite pumping three times a day. I hope I won't have supply issues again. I would love to donate if I had an abundance. Not having enough milk can be pretty overwhelming. Do you always have supply issues, or is it different with each child?

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Old 09-18-2010, 12:30 AM
 
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I was going to (I have more than enough to go around) but the mother I was going to supply to was being beyond unreasonable.Basically wanting me to provide all storage bags (the one thing I asked her to provide since I don't pump regularly and they are expensive), to travel and drop off the milk to her (since it was "to hard" for her to travel with her baby to come get them), at her time (since she was a "busy" mom) and I started seeing inconsistency in her story (first it was her child she had an under supply, then a newborn adopted baby, then a toddler she wanted to give milk to etc). Soo, I told her she either agreed to my terms (supply bags, pick up the milk at my house at my convenience) or I wouldn't do it. She never replied back.

Just be careful is what I guess Im saying. Its a big time/energy drain and if you get someone who wants to be a pain it can be even harder. Its honestly a lot to add on to taking care of your own child. I still would if I met someone who honestly needed it but I would be selective on who (there aren't milk banks over here) and the circumstances I do it under. You could also do it under the understanding that you might not be able to commit to doing it consistantly all the time. If you find a mom who has support from several people it won't be so overwhelming. Honestly i can't imagine being able to pump for one and being the only source of milk while nursing the other. Maybe Im selfish but I wouldn't think I would have the time/energy if it isn't my child that I need to do it for (ok, hit me with the bad stuff, I know that sounds selfish but having to pump and bottle feed for a week in the NICU it was harder than I ever thought it would be, I couldn't imagine trying to nurse totally one child and pump totally for a child that wasn't even mine). I wouldn't mind adding 1-3 pumping sessions a day (first thing in the morning, during a nap, right before bed) but I couldn't imagine doing it every 2-3 hours round the clock so I can be the total source of nutrition for the baby.

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Old 09-18-2010, 05:23 AM
 
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If I have a lot of milk, I'm gonna donate to the milk bank (NICU) at my hospital.
I've had two preemies, and I know how precious it is for them to get breast milk.

-pixie, my dear, and (A-88), N-98, Littlest-06/00-08/00, J-03 & Little Miss Cotton Ball Button-03 (SN), S-05, Hope-loss 09/09, Bean-loss 04/10, and littlePopcorn due feb. 8th -11.
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:12 AM
 
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I planned on donating w/DS but it didn't work out, this time I'm hoping to again. Instead I ended up using donated milk for DS until he was 16 months.

Donating to milk banks is such an awesome thing but there are a lot of qualifiers and they won't accept milk when you take even certain everyday nursing ok supplements. They also pasturize the milk.

If you are interested in donating there is also Milkshare - a private milk sharing group. We used it to get milk for DS last time and hope to donate to it this time. Milkshare is neat because you know who is getting your milk (you are in complete control of your milk) and it gives families who couldn't afford milk bank milk, the benefit of breast milk. We loved our donors!

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Old 09-18-2010, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I would probably donate to milkshare. I don't like how the milk banks charge so much money from mommas in need. From what I understand of milkshare, they are happy with however much you are willing to donate. A one time donation or donating on a consistant basis. Perhaps I will just give it a shot and freeze the milk. Donate when I'm ready and make no commitments.

~Debra, wife to the best DH, Nuno (9/98). Blessed SAHM momma to DS Diogo (3/04), DS Cruz (9/07) and DD Beatriz 2/2/11!!  
 
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Old 09-18-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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Yeah since Milkshare is private you can donate once, whenever yr freezer gets full or on a more regular basis. It's essentially a private yahoo group w/moderators so you post when you have milk, where you are, info, willing to ship, if you want a pick up etc. and then people looking for milk who are in the group contact you and then make arrangements from there.

We had donors on a regular basis who were local sometimes, we also got a lot of freezer too full donations. Some donors don't want to ship (person getting milk pays shipping & costs) others don't mind. As a person who received milk, there are ways to make shipping for the donor easy -FedEx lets you set up a billing and pick up service so the shipper/milk donor doesn't even have to bring it to a drop off location or pay anything. The website has a lot of info on the details.

Hopefully we'll be donating in a few months!

Baby wearing Mamma to DS, dealing with all his allergies....and thriving w/another little bundle due in Early Feb
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Old 09-18-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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I had a LOT of milk when DS was first born, but he was only drinking about 30 ml (1 oz) per feeding, every three hours, so I had quite a stockpile of milk in my freezer once he started nursing exclusively and we were done with fortifying milk in bottles! I donated it through Milkshare, and it was a really wonderful experience. I was rejected from donating to milk banks since I have to be on hypertension meds, and banks can be really, really selective, so milk containing ANY medications (even safe ones!) was rejected. I think I actually preferred the Milkshare experience! I know and got to select the families who got my milk, which was really hard when there are so many needy babies, but great when you've decided. I've got pictures of my milkbabies and am still in touch with one of the moms. I got to donate to 2 sets of twins, both former preemies, which was great. I loved it, and still do whenever I get updates on my milkbabies.

I did get blood work done just for the families' peace of mind, so I could send them the report showing that I'm HIV negative along with the milk. I know that I would want that as a Mama!

I'll be tandem nursing DS and New Baby, so it'll be a while, but I will definitely be donating again. I'll probably start pumping 2 or 3 times a day when New Baby is around 18 months or so, storing the milk, donating it when I have enough to make it worth the shipping costs for the family. I love donating milk, but also want to keep up a supply because we intend to adopt in the future, and relactating is way harder than building up a supply. And, I'll admit it, I love having the boobs that come with lactating, and will keep them as long as possible - and if I can help a baby in the bargain, so much the better .

ETA: Most of the families I became familiar with on Milkshare were thrilled with a one-time donation - there was no pressure to become a constant supplier of milk for their babes if you didn't want to! They do ask for 100 oz or more, because it's really expensive to ship (has to be overnighted, and packed with dry ice), so I think one-time donations are fairly common.

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Old 09-18-2010, 09:32 PM
 
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I will not be donating, I will most likely be looking for milk... I have IGT and my chance of getting a full supply isn't very good. I will be doing everything in my power to build a supply, but I will most likely have to supplement.

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Old 09-18-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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interesting to see this thread pop up. i just had a really awful experience donating milk to a milk bank.

i'll just say, be careful where/how you donate. i am absolutely devastated after my experience...

.

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Old 09-18-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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Quote:

edited out...

Oh my goodness, that is absolutely awful!


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Old 09-19-2010, 12:53 PM
 
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Edited out ...

.

I really did have a good experience donating to MilkShare, and you also might if you ever wanted to donate again. I wouldn't blame you if you were wary of the whole thing, though ... again, I'm so sorry.


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Old 09-20-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiekisses View Post
If I have a lot of milk, I'm gonna donate to the milk bank (NICU) at my hospital.
I've had two preemies, and I know how precious it is for them to get breast milk.

Bri helpmeet to Chaise mama to K(2/07)  M(3/09) & A(2/11)

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Old 01-21-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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Sheesh, it'd be great if I figured out the new interface - accidentally posted when I meant to edit!  Sorry!


Kelley, lucky partner to my Canuck and momma to Peter Gwydion (9/08) whistling.gif, Eliot Theoden (2/11) sleepytime.gif, and Harper Ophelia (m/c 6/12) rainbow1284.gif . We breastfeed exclusively, cosleep peacefully, vax selectively, homeschool joyously, and love each other unconditionally! luxlove.gif 
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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I would seriously consider donating if I have an oversupply this time.

 

With my twins, it took over 4 weeks of nearly constant pumping/herbs/oatmeal/you name it- before I could produce more than a few drops of milk. They were 10 weeks early and weren't able to breastfeed for nearly 6 weeks so pumping was my only option.

 

 

Donated breast milk was a lifesaver for my twins and I'm eternally grateful to mamas out there who have gone through the trouble to donate breast milk, those mamas will always be heroes in my book. stillheart.gif


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Old 01-21-2011, 09:14 AM
 
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I've donated before, to an acquaintance, and it got really hard. I knew she was counting on me (fortunately, there were others donating, too, not just me), but it was kind of stressful. Sometimes I just didn't have time (we were on our way out the door) or we were gone all day, so I couldn't pump some days or when I did pump, my baby would suddenly decide he wanted to eat.  Maybe I just didn't know how to coordinate it all??

 

The woman was the sweetest person, too, and not at all demanding, but it was still tough.  If you do it, just be clear on how many ounces or pumping sessions you can provide and how often.  


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Old 01-21-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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I will be donating through Eats on Feets which seems quite active in my area, and may also do a donation to an online acquaintance.  I had a TON of milk last time, and they say you make a little more each time.  It's a bit scary to think about really!


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Old 01-21-2011, 11:52 AM
 
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I second donating to Eats on Feets!  They are active in my area as well and the moms are always super grateful.  I like the idea of donating to milk banks, but most requirements were too stringent (in terms of minimum quantity to donate - most have a minimum of 200oz with a promise to send more.)  I have heard that the Milk Bank of North Texas accepts much smaller minimum donations, so if donating to the preemies is a priority to anyone, they are a good choice!

 

I donated with my first daughter to my current midwife, who was a student midwife at the time and had given birth to twins.  Because of her time on the road, she wasn't able to pump enough, but fortunately, we made it work.  It was easy to do this because we already had a working relationship and she knew my medical history and didn't care that I took an occasional Zyrtec for my allergies!


I'm Brooke!  I'm an avid knitter (ravelry:mamaaulait) and IBCLC.  Homeschooling mama to my girls, Maiya (4/2009) and Jenevieve (2/2011) and my boy, River (9/2013).
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Old 01-21-2011, 04:19 PM
 
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I haven't read all the responses on this thread yet but I was just going to mention that I was going donate my milk after my last pregnancy and my doctor said that she would be able to write me a Rx for a breastpump to cover the cost. It might be something you could ask your doctor about.


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