Sunday, September 30, 2012

Donating my (Liquid) Gold

“Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (September). For this month, we will tackle milk sharing and how it can nurture the community, and how this spirit of giving can be sustained. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries.”

One of my online resources on breastfeeding is the blog: Chronicles of a Nursing Mom, who incidentally is also the organizer of this carnival. I learned a lot of things about breastfeeding on Jenny’s site, one of which is donating breastmilk. When I gave birth to Miya and went back to work, I had more than enough milk supply for her. Since we only had a one-door ref, I can not store my breastmilk for a long period of time. So after 10 or more days, we clean up my frozen milk at the freezer for fresh new ones. Note that I followed Kellymom’s breastmilk storage guidelines. It’s heart breaking to throw away those precious liquid gold, so I knew I had to donate them. The first one I donated my milk to is a friend of a friend. She just gave birth to a preemie and needed breastmilk while their baby was still in the NICU. I communicated with the hubby and he picked up the milk from our place. I think I donated twice to them. After that, I contacted Jenny and asked for details on where I can donate milk. She told me I can donate milk through UP-PGH or the Facebook page of Human Milk forHuman Babies – Philippines. But I think after a day, I received two texts from two different women needing milk. I offered to donate my breastmilk to the first one who messaged me. But I also donated milk to the other mommy the next time I was able to store breastmilk. This went on for a couple of months, I donated milk to these two mommies. After the first round, I was the one who messaged them and told them I have extra milk for them that are ready for pick-up.

Believe it or not, I was more pressured to build up my milk supply to be donated than to build up my daily supply for Miya hehehe. This is so because I didn’t want the mommies to travel to our house and pick-up the milk and end up getting just a few ounces. So my personal goal is to pump an extra 30oz of breastmilk for two weeks that I can donate to these mommies.  I was also inspired to stick to my pumping schedule at work and even on weekends because aside from nourishing my own daughter, I was also nourishing other babies. I felt an elation knowing that my breastmilk is enough to sustain more than my own baby. One of the mommies I donated milk to was referred to me by her friend. Her friend was the one who texted me and asked if I had still breastmilk. It turned out her husband just died and her baby is 5 months old just about the same age as Miya then. Due to the death of her husband, her milk supply dropped and she needed breastmilk donations to nourish her baby.

Sadly, when my milk supply dropped and the milk I pump was just enough for Miya I stopped donating milk. I was so sad I wasn’t able to donate when Sendong hit the country and people were asking for breastmilk donations. I wished I could have donated my breastmilk to those babies affected by the typhoon.

Donating breastmilk was an enriching experience for me. I will gladly do it again in the future.


In commemoration of World Milk Sharing Week 2012, share your own experiences as a milk donor or recipient. Don't forget to visit the other participants of the blog carnival:

Brenda has notes on breast milk givers and takers
Mafeth wrote about being a milk donee
Cris donated her liquid gold
Pat had a happy problem donating solved
Jenny wrote about wet nursing from a relative's experience
Rachel discussed how she felt about receiving donated milk and nursing an adoptee's baby
Mec insists it takes two to Milk Share Tango
Cai received milk from her sister
Nats has a Milk Sharing Story too


Mec said...

Awww... I know how fulfilling it must be to be able to donate milk, but then again, you're really only supposed to feed the baby you have... all the extras are just that, extras... and I'm sure you can still help other moms in some other way :)

StartUp Mom said...

I can relate to this, now that my BM Supply has dwindled since baby's on solids na. I felt the pressure to produce more kasi i don't get to donate as often anymore.

cris said...

@Mec - Hi Mec! I guess you're right. Sharing my breastmilk was the cherry on top :)

@Brenda - Hello! di ba nakakapressure din hehe. I guess I also took it as a commitment to the other babies kaya ganon.

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