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?
Welcome Beatriz!! - http://web.me.com/ng0/Beatriz/Posts/Posts.html
living with alopecia universalis (google it), learning alongside my children DD 2003 DS 2007DD 2011
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.
I've had two preemies, and I know how precious it is for them to get breast milk.
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!
Welcome Beatriz!! - http://web.me.com/ng0/Beatriz/Posts/Posts.html
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!
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.
wife of 8 years to DH , mama to DD (2006) & DS (2011) (Dec. 2012) due Nov. 2013
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...
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.
Sheesh, it'd be great if I figured out the new interface - accidentally posted when I meant to edit! Sorry!
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.
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.
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!
DCP to 1 busy munchkin! and a CRST too!
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).
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.