In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we are highlighting the importance of donor human milk.
A few weeks ago, we asked our community on Instagram to share experiences of donating their breastmilk with us. The response was tremendous and we are honored to share the stories.
Why did you decide to donate your breast milk?
- I had abundant supply and began pumping in order to manage my supply and also build up a little reserve so that I could introduce a bottle eventually. I had far more than I needed, and when chatting with my midwife at one of our postpartum visits she brought up the possibility of donating. –– Rebekah, Houston, TX
- When my little guy stopped drinking breast milk while at daycare around 16 months, I decided to stop pumping during the day while at work and only nurse when we’re together. Yet, I had this huge freezer stash that I couldn’t bare go to waste. — Nicole, Los Angeles, CA
- I decided to donate as I had an oversupply in the beginning and was running out of freezer space. I had heard of Mothers Milk Bank at Austin and thought this would be a fairly easy way for me to help out. — Alexandria, Austin, TX
- I had to travel across the country to a school assigned by the Navy. I had left enough milk at home to last the month so that my husband could feed our son, but I also was ready to ship milk home if necessary. When the end of the course came near, I realized I had pumped over 200 oz of milk! I couldn’t bear it go to waste and I wanted a mom and baby who were in need to be able to count on something. — Gaby, Naval Officer, San Diego, CA
- At my six week postpartum OB/GYN visit, I had asked my doctor how to deal with plugged ducts and mastitis. In that short time, I had already had multiple plugged ducts and was just trying to figure out how to get over that. My doctor told me that I was producing more than my son was eating. At the time, I thought my doctor’s statement was a joke. When my son was 10 weeks old, I had our freezer in our fridge full of milk and realized I didn’t want this milk to go to waste and started my search for what I could do. — Kali, Reno, NV.
- Since I was planning to return to work after maternity leave, I started the pumping process as soon as possible. I was blessed that my breast milk came in early and plentiful, so I would pump every morning between two feeding sessions. When I decided to only return part-time, I realized I had more than enough milk to sustain my daughter while I was gone. At one point we had more of those little breastmilk bags in our freezer than actual food. That’s when I decided that someone who needed it should have it. — Holly, Austin TX
- I never planned on pumping for another family, but one day I saw a post from a doula friend of mine asking if anyone had any extra milk to donate to a sweet little adopted baby. She was only two weeks older than my son and I immediately knew it was something I wanted to do for her. – Cassidy, Austin, TX
- A few months after my daughter was born, I had a friend give birth to her first. She had to do some military training away from home a couple months after her daughter’s birth and was unsure if she’d be able to pump enough or how she’d even get the pumped milk back home. I had a freezer full by that point so I just offered to bring as much as they might need for their baby while she was away. I think I just knew that it’s what I would want someone else to do for me if I were in their predicament-it just felt like the right thing to do. — Kimberly
- My mom, a nurse midwife by trade, now runs The Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin — so I’ve always known there are babies who need breast milk to survive/thrive and hoped when my time came I could help the cause. This is my first baby, and I’ve been an obsessive late-night pumper because of paranoia that my supply would tank. I’ve now got hundreds of ounces saved up in the freezer that are destined for the Milk Bank. — Cat, IVF mama of 1, Austin TX
- My neighbor friend had a baby six days before I did, and she mentioned she was having trouble producing milk. Our first few days home from the hospital, I had the idea to give her some frozen colostrum, but felt so nervous asking her given it’s very personal. I offered anyway and she happily accepted. We just continued providing extra pumped milk to her over the next six months. — Rebecca, Austin, TX
Featured image: Angela Doran