I have been honored to be an admin for HM4HB since the very beginning! So, in celebration of Human Milk 4 Human Babies 5 Year Anniversary I am reposting this personal post I originally shared on Friday, January 15, 2010. This story of sharing 80 ounces, along with my own breastfeeding struggles, and wanting to honor my maternal grandmother's legacy as a wet-nurse in her village in Iran all led me to be actively involved in the Mission/Vision/Values of this amazing global network! Happy 5th Anniversary HM4HB!!!
This week I dropped off 80 ounces of breastmilk to the local milk bank. It was a moment of mixed emotions, but it was good for the whole family knowing we were helping those in need.
For years I have always seen the ads for the milk bank in the back of parenting magazines, have know a few friends who have donated, and am now pleased to know a little guy who was helped by milk bank breastmilk. All of this, along with knowing first hand how difficult feeding issues in children are made me want to do what I could to help.
My milk supply has not been the greatest since Lily's birth, but now that she is over a year old she is transitioning to solids & almond milk and we thought that the time was right for breastmilk donation. So, for the last few weeks I have basically designated my first pumping of the day to go towards donation. Originally I had set the goal to donate one gallon of milk, but I had to settle on 80 ounces. Still I was proud to take in my cooler of flatly frozen milk bags and it was warmly welcomed with many thanks.
I think some of the mixed emotions I experienced comes from my understanding that milk banks are needed & are beneficial, but that on the other hand I think the processing, pasteurization, and fees associated with milk banks in our country involves way too much red tape. After educating myself on the pros and cons of milk banks I still went ahead with the process to get approved as a donor.
Now that I have donated I would greatly encourage others to do so. Many mothers are doing what they can to pump for the cause of getting human milk to human babies, and some even donate privately in order to help recipients directly without all that above mentioned red tape. MilkShare helps match donors and recipients and I may give private donation a try too eventually. Private breastmilk donation greatly appeals to me on a personal level because many parents use the donated breastmilk to supplement their low supplies or for allergic babies. Something that I really wish I had known about in my early parenting days since I know all too well the troubles associated with both. I would have accepted donated breastmilk in a heart beat!
My hope is that in the future breastmilk donation will be as common as blood donation and more babies in need will benefit.
UPDATE 3/2/2011: For more information on mother to mother milk sharing please visit: Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network
Human Milk 4 Human Babies (HM4HB) is a global network represented by community pages for each state/province/country. These pages provide a space where families in need can connect with women who have milk to share. HM4HB affirms that human milk is the biological norm for human infants and children. HM4HB does not support the sale of human milk.
Share your story on your social media timeline using the hashtag #mymilksharingstoryand let your friends and family know the impact #donormilk has made for your family! Surf the hashtag to read stories from communities all over the world! #hm4hbturns5
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