Breastfeeding

How to ask for a BM Donation?

Not sure how I would go about this if It was something I was interested in?

 I have a low supply and have to supplement with formula. Its not a big deal but if I could give her all breast milk, that would be better yet. We don't have a low income, not a great one either, but relatively middle class. Just don't know how to go about this. Does the donated breast milk only go to NICU or preemie babies? My LO is 3 months old.

I am completely through my freezer stash, back to work full time and currently supplementing 1 -2 bottles a day.

 TIA!

PS: If you think I'm nuts, thats OK too... just a thought I had.

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Re: How to ask for a BM Donation?

  • I am not sure about the official milk banks but I think you have to pay for some of them.  You can post on the forums on milkshare.com for your area (or look for posts from people who are offering to donate).  I have heard there is a Facebook page as well called Human Milk for Human Babies.
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  • on the local fb groups you should be able to just make a post. It's just mother-mother not processed through a facility.

    I think the milk banks are for the NICU and if not they charge a lot (for processing fees).

    look for Human Milk for Human Babies (your area) and Eats on Feets on fb or google

  • The nonprofit milk bank where I donate my milk generally only provides it to NICU babies, sometimes other babies but by prescription only.  My understanding is that to get BM through a milk bank either requires lots of $ (I think it's at least $3+ an ounce, and even then I'm not sure how possible it is to get) or a very extreme medical issue that causes the baby to not be able to handle formula.

    Seems like the FB groups are probably your best bet.  Local LCs or LLL groups might facilitate connecting moms also... but I'm not sure.

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  • I think the PP is pretty much right about "official" milk banks.  They do charge, but I'm sure if you called them they could give you some information even if you decide not to go with them.  

    If you go to Le Leche League's website you can find a list of milk banks if you just wanted to check them out. 

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  • We were able to get donor milk through our hospital where my son was born.  It was pretty expensive.
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  • Women have offered milk for donation on a local facebook mom's group I am on. I would look into the mom-to-mom groups on facebook.
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  • Check out Human Milk for Human Babies and/or Eats on Feet on Facebook.  They are mom-to-mom sharing sites.
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  • image NY-allie:
    Check out Human Milk for Human Babies and/or Eats on Feet on Facebook.  They are mom-to-mom sharing sites.

     This, they have local chapters. I have donated to a couple of moms since I couldn't use it all. My DD is only in daycare 3 mornings a week and she would only take 3 oz once a morning. My milk would've expired and I found a couple of moms with adopted babies that used it. 

    I even recommended it to a mom who was visiting relatives in Australia and was pumping extra. She found a mom on their local FB pages (the ones listed above) and was glad she didn't have to dump the milk since she couldn't take it back with her. 

    Moms are usually willing to share blood test result to let you know they are disease free. Both moms I donated didn't need it even though I offered. They basically said, if you are nursing your baby that is good enough for me. I did give them my history though (I did have a blood transfusion 11 days PP for post partum hemorrhage so I couldn't donate to the milk bank).
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  • I believe anyone can use a milk bank, but I think they are expensive.  My baby was 10 weeks early and I think I remember them telling me that normally, donor milk would be expensive, but we would qualify to get it free because of her prematurity.  Ask your pediatrician or OB, they can probably refer you to more information.  Ask them also about ways to increase your supply. 

    If you aren't able to give her 100% breastmilk, don't worry too much about it - any BM you can give is helpful, I've read about studies that showed even 2 ounces a day had benefits for baby's health. I've had to supplement about 30-50% of DD's meals with formula since she came home and she still has gained weight as expected and been healthy and happy!  There are a lot of different formulas so you can talk to your pediatrician about the best one for your baby.

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  • You're not nuts.

    I also agree to check out HM4HB and Eats on Feets to do mom-to-mom milk sharing on a local level. The mom I donated to reimbursed me for the bags I used to freeze the milk, but I did not even expect that (and would not have taken any more).

    Make sure to ask about the health of mom and baby, as well as any medications taken when expressing the milk. I also provided bloodwork to prove I didn't have any of the major viruses that pass through breastmilk (HIV being a big one). I basically filled out a questionnaire and did the bloodwork as if I was donating to a milk bank. It gave the other mother peace of mind that my milk was not going to make her baby sick.

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