Got Extra Milk? Donate Your Extra Supply of Breastmilk
As nursing mamas, we experience hard and heavy breasts and sometimes some leakage here and there when our milk starts to come in. It reminded me how the start of motherhood could be so beautiful and chaotic at the same time. The joy of being able to nurse your child creates a unique connection/bond between both of you.
Some mothers produce more breast milk than what their breastfeeding baby needs. Wow, what a blessing! It seems like the milk pumping is endless, and the extra breast milk would be a waste if everything won’t be consumed and just stocked inside your freezer, right? How about donating your excess breast milk? You get to relieve the heaviness you feel from your breasts with all the milk supply, plus you get to help babies in need. You can get into contact with local Milk Banks near you to help you become a breast milk donating mommy.
So, why should you consider donating your extra breast milk?
I know pumping the milk is such an effort, and you need to buy the materials to store the pumped milk. Some parents choose to do so because they had an oversupply of pumped breast milk and unable to keep it properly. Some parents who experienced child loss, either in pregnancy or as an infant, choose to donate to honor their child’s life and share their love with another child and their family. Also, not all mothers have ample breast milk supply, and having the gift of extra milk supply yourself motivates you to pump and share.
Plus, there are significant benefits in the growth and development of premature babies found in breast milk. The trend of using donated milk lately has been for helping those premature and ill infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs).
There are plenty of reasons, and if you choose to donate, kudos! Way to go supporting your fellow mothers!
Do I need to be cautious of anything before I can donate?
Each milk bank will have its own set of guidelines for donors, and you’ll have to follow their screening guidelines before you become a donor. You can expect that there’ll be a series of tests to ensure that you’re healthy and your breast milk is safe for donation.
And if you’re extra cautious because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Hearts Milk Bank (HMB) answered a query regarding donating during these times. They mentioned that should you be experiencing having high body temperature and continuous cough, do not express milk for eight days after the onset of symptoms. You may pump milk for donation again if you have not been feverish for two days or if, on day 8, the persistent symptom is cough. It’s better to be extra cautious because you’ll be giving the milk to vulnerable infants.
Where can you donate your breast milk?
There should be a local Milk Bank near you where you could donate the milk. Milk Banks like the ones in partner with the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) “collects breast milk from mothers who have more than their babies need, then screens, pasteurizes, and tests it, and, finally, dispenses it to premature and fragile infants in need, either in hospitals or homes.”
The HMBANA can help you locate their member milk banks that are near you. Currently, HMBANA has 31 accredited nonprofit milk bank members.
Here are some of HMBANA’s accredited members:
So if you’re considering right now to donate your extra supply of breast milk, that’s so great to know! Imagine the number of infants you can help get the nourishment they need with your milk. But if you think now isn’t the right time, that’s fine. Donating breast milk comes with a lot of things to consider. Find an accredited and trusted milk bank where you can donate.
I hope you’ll be able to find the joy of donating!