Megan | Fork Union, VA
In May, I found myself in labor at 23 weeks due to my cervix being insufficient. After my baby was born, I started pumping diligently because it was one of the first ways I felt like I was really helping my baby. I am blessed with a great supply, so we quickly had to purchase a deep freeze to store milk. Because my baby was born so early, she was only eating a few milliliters a day at the beginning, so I was able to quickly fill up my freezer. During our time in the NICU, we saw many babies who needed donor milk. Because of their immature digestive systems, premature babies cannot handle formula the way full term babies can. My husband and I had a heart for these babies and we knew that one way we could help them was by donating some of my supply. We came home from the NICU on our baby’s 4 month birthday, 5 days after her due date! I donated over 500 ounces a few days after she came home. I hope to be able to keep up my supply in order to continue donating over the next year.
Lindsey | Albuquerque, NM
When I was pregnant with my daughter and asked if I planned to breastfeed, my response was always yes. I said yes, because I thought it was the correct answer and that I should at least give it a try. I really wasn’t expecting to stick with it, because of all the stories of how painful it would be and how much work it was. Thankfully my daughter came out, knowing that her job was to eat and I’ve had no problem producing enough milk. As my freezer filled up and then I filled up a deep freeze too, I knew I needed to sign up as a donor. By the time my daughter was 3 months old I had over 1200 oz frozen. SO far we have yet to use any frozen milk for ourselves. I plan to drop off milk every month for as long as I’m able.
Sarah | Minneapolis, MN
Our son Benjamin was born February 27th. Unfortunately, he was deprived of oxygen sometime during his birth and suffered severe brain damage. We were in the NICU at Children’s Hospital Minneapolis for 7 days with our son before we pulled his life support. He died on March 7th. I breast fed my first son a few years prior and I was always an ample producer so I wanted to make sure the colostrum and breast milk that I pumped for Benjamin in the hospital and while weaning several weeks later was not wasted. I contacted Mother’s Milk Bank and was able to donate quite a bit. It was so nice to be treated with grace and dignity by Mother’s Milk Bank is the wake of my son’s death and to also be able to celebrate my son’s little life by giving to other babies in need. It was a wonderful experience.
Natalie | Salida, MO
My sweet baby girl was born in January. I had successfully breastfed her older brother and planned for the same with her. I am “blessed” with a fast letdown and an abundance of milk. I was choking my baby and quickly looked towards pumping to ease the situation. Before Grace was 12 weeks old, I had a deep freeze full of milk and knew I would soon be throwing some out. A local lactation consultant pointed me to the Milk Bank. The application process was very easy and because I live in Missouri, everything was shipped to me. It was extremely rewarding to know that I was able to be a blessing to other mothers. Pumping and donating was my outlet, something that I was able to contribute to without having to leave my home. I donated over 8500 oz. of milk. Donating on this level was certainly a family affair. When I shipped off my last box of milk, I realized that Grace had never used any frozen milk!
Corey | Highlands Ranch, CO
While I was pregnant, a good friend had her twin babies early. They stayed in the NICU and received donor milk. She was so grateful for donor milk for her little ones, that when I had a surplus of milk, I wanted to give the gift of human milk. I would wake up for my little one’s 4 am feeding, nurse until she was full, and would pump. Friends and family used to ask why I stayed up during the night to pump milk, especially if my little one didn’t need it – wasn’t sleep for me a more rewarding option?! Yes and no, I probably could have used the extra sleep – what mom doesn’t! – but I knew my time was limited to donate and one day, pumping and nursing would be in my past. I often thought of babies in the NICU, parents sleeping in chairs and waiting until they were big enough to go home, and felt a heart full of gratitude for my excess. I am happy to have given up those hours of sleep to help another mama whose baby needed the most precious nutrient available.
Dana | Omaha, NE
On February 3, my husband and I were blessed with our son, Jonah. Jonah was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit shortly after birth and was fed a very small amount of my breast milk through a nasogastric tube. I pumped breast milk every 3 hours and froze the excess milk. Jonah peacefully passed away in our arms after just 67 blessed days. After Jonah died, we were left with a deep freeze that was packed full of breast milk. I knew immediately that I wanted to donate Jonah’s milk to other babies who were in need. We donated over 2,400 ounces of breast milk. Jonah touched the lives of many throughout his short time with us. It is very rewarding to know that he continued to touch the lives of many through the gift of his milk.
Cindy | Redmond, WA
My daughter, Victoria, was born with a heart defeat (HLHS) that requires 3 open heart surgeries. Two of these happened in her first year of life. She has spent most of this first year in the hospital. She has not been able to nurse and very often went days and month unable to even take my milk through her feeding tube. I produced so much extra milk in the first 4 months that we filled my and my sister’s deep freezer. I donated the extra milk in hopes that it can help other critically ill babies like my daughter.
Cheryl | Urbana, IL
As a social worker in a level 4 NICU in Central Illinois, I saw the benefits of donated breast milk every day. These extremely premature babies thrived on it. After the birth of my son, I had an extreme over abundance of breast milk from the beginning. There was no doubt in my mind that I had to donate it. I wanted to donate my milk to the hospital that we received breast milk from and contacted Mother’s Milk bank in Colorado. If I remember correctly I made the call while pumping at work! Everyone was so appreciatve of my inquiry to donate and so helpful. At one point I traveled to Little Rock for a 3 day conference and requested a box be sent to Little Rock. I sent all of the milk that I pumped that weekend right to the milk bank since I was away from my son. It was such a relief to me to be able to send that milk on to babies who need it rather than dumping 3 days worth of milk.
Lori | Albuquerque, NM
After my son’s birth, I donated over 100 ounces of breast milk. I received endless gratitude from the milk bank, including copies of letters from moms whose babies had received milk. I would like to express my gratitude to the milk bank for allowing me to be a donor, to the moms who put such enormous trust in me to feed their babies as I would my own, and for everyone who helped me on that journey. Donating milk was rewarding, and made me feel that I was making a significant contribution to other babies and mothers. All the work involved (even the caffeine restriction, which I really struggled with as a new mom!) was so worth it, every time I dropped off milk, I felt that I had given something valuable, which in turn gave me a greater sense of value. I never took the commitment lightly. I blessed every ounce with positive thoughts for the baby that would receive it. Every ounce reinforced the joy of giving back, paying it forward and sharing my blessings with others.
Laura | Denver, CO
When my daughter was born I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I also figured I’d be going back to work, so I began to pump. Fortunately, I was able to stay home with her for the first year. But what was I to do with all of this extra milk? After a little research I found the mothers milk bank. And they were located within walking distance of my house. They made donating very easy! I was provided storage bags and they were always willing to meet me downstairs in the parking lot when it was too cold to bring the baby out. I pumped at the same time every evening and it became a nice little ritual for me. It was such a wonderful experience being able to help other babies and their families that were in need.