Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Donating my breastmilk

I'm en route to Salt Lake City on a layover in Boise. I'm doing a mobile post, so I apologize in advance if things look a bit funky. Last night I was up late finishing my suitcase and making final preparations. Getting ready for Alt Summit was mostly about clothes and business cards and blogging goals, but another important thing I had to take care of was my precious breastmilk. I have thrown away so much breastmilk over the past few years! It's painful to do, but Coco and Theo never took to the bottle, so breastmilk we had in the freezer just ended up being wasted.

I knew I would have to pump at Alt. Initially I thought I would just pump and dump. What's the point of sterilizing and freezing and transporting the milk if it's just going to be tossed in the garbage in a few months? But then I imagined dumping that warm, sweet, creamy milk down a drain and realized I could never do it.I set out to find a way to donate my milk.

Google searches only pointed to milk banks, which expect a longterm commitment and lots of testing up front. That wasn't realistic for four days during a busy-from-dawn-until-dusk conference. Then, as it happens, a fellow Alt participant runs a site called Lactation Link. Perfect! I got in touch with her and she tipped me off to Eats on Feets, an informal mom-to-mom milk sharing program (it's a play on Meals on Wheels). Each city, state or region has their own Eats on Feets Facebook page. I offered my milk on Eats on Feets Utah and within a few hours, I had connected with three different moms who wanted some of my milk! One mom just adopted a newborn in Utah and needs a bit more milk before they head home to Portland together. The other two moms are sisters whose babies are a bit older, but are both quite tiny. Isn't it magical to imagine Theo's milk plumping up another baby, or babies?! It makes me so insanely happy!

The only challenge now is being away from my sweet Theo bear for four days. Leaning into bed to kiss his warm head goodbye while my Lyft waited outside this morning was so hard!

Have you ever donated breastmilk or received donor milk? I'd love to hear your story!

6 comments:

  1. I wish I had known about this informal sharing program when I was breastfeeding. I had an abundance of milk, but gave up on the idea of donating it when I heard from a SF Bay Area milk bank that I could not because I had recently lived in Switzerland. I was too exhausted and overwhelmed by life to pursue any other options.


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  2. What an amazing program! I love the idea of milk sharing!

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  3. I just started up the Swiss chapter of Human Milk 4 Human Babies, which is the same thing, really, as Eats on Feets. It is so heartbreaking for mums with low supply like me to hear of other mums that felt they had no option but to throw away all their milk. :( I feel great to enable a way to connect these Mamas somehow now! At the moment, though, I am struggling to find ways to get the word out to mums in need, as we have quite a few willing to donate, but none who have advertised a need. Let me know if you have any ideas on this... Thinking of contacting Block! ;) Good on you for doing it, and get in contact when you are in Switzerland next!

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    1. I think getting some lactation consultants involved would help. Maybe print up simple flyers that they can give to moms with low supply or adoptive moms? If they're hearing about you and your services through a trusted source, that is the key!

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  4. Thirty to forty years a gone, the sole baby bottles accessible to folks were those made from glass, that weren't solely serious, however additionally breakable see more information.

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