Donating Breast Milk

Did you know you can donate your breast milk?

I first became aware of this eight years ago after my daughter was born.

She initially required tube feeding and although I ultimately breastfed her, I was told that I was initially not expressing enough and that she would need something else to begin with.

I recall being asked “do you want her to have Cow & Gate or donor milk?”

At the same time I was thrust a leaflet on donor milk but not given time to read it or ask questions. I felt rushed into my decision. Who’s milk would she be drinking? Where had it come from? What if she caught something from the milk? I  had never heard of this before and I have just had a really traumatic delivery and now had a poorly baby.

I reluctantly opted for the formula but it wasn’t too long before we were able to get breastfeeding established and she was well again.

After being in this situation and once at home with my daughter I began to look into breast milk donation.

I linked up with the North West Human Milk Bank and after blood tests and screening I began donating my milk. By then I had loads of milk.

I was offered the use of a breast pump but opted to use my Medela Swing as I was comfortable with that and at the time they didn’t have electric pumps available for use. I really didn’t get on with a manual pump and found an electric one much faster.

I was provided with pre-steralised storage bottles and the milk was collected once a week. I was an easy process and one which I am sure, eight years on will be much more advanced. You can find out more about how it all works here.

For me this was much the same as donating blood. Someone else could benefit from this and it felt like the right thing to do.

Having been on both sides of this I am much better informed about donor milk now. Had any of my subsequent children had a similar issue at birth I would not have hesitated to opt for donor  milk. I hope there is more information about this now but I am not convinced it is widely known about or an option everywhere.

The screening process is very thorough and the benefits to babies make this I really important option for parents.

Would you donate or have you done this?

Would you opt for donor milk?

I’ d love to know your thoughts.
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  1. I had no idea. The boys mum, my ex wife, is a breastfeeding support worker. So I'm sure she knows but why on earth I didn't I have no idea. This is such a fantastic idea to do and truly help someone. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky

  2. I wasn't aware that you could do this, but totally makes sense – if we can give pretty much every other part of our bodies, then there's nothing wrong with donating boob juice 🙂

  3. I had no idea about this first time round and had loads of milk.! I decided to definitely look into it second time but my milk supply was so much less and ended up drying up really early so I didn't have any to give 🙁
    I think it's a wonderful thing to do if you can. Great that you've written this so more people get to know about it x

  4. I think it's great that people donate breast milk. Ive looked in to it, but haven't got very far as there doesn't seem to be many around me. This post has prompted me to have another look x

  5. This is great! Well done you. I would have loved to have supplemented mine with breast milk rather than formula when I was struggling at the beginning. I would also have loved to have been able to produce enough to be able to donate, but that would always be a pipe dream for me I think. Thanks for your post and for raising this as a discussion topic. X

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