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Thread: Place to donate frozen breast milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    20

    Default Place to donate frozen breast milk

    I was needing some suggestions about where to donate breast milk. I guess I like the idea of the milk going to premature or critically ill babies but that seems to be trickier than I realized.

    I looked at the guidelines of the National Milk Bank and they require a minimum of 500 ounces. I was willing to part with about 300 ounces as of right now. I could hold off and collect more but my freezer is about to burst. Plus I'm a bit nervous about their requirements/suggestions. On the National Milk Bank's website, it stresses how bacteria can be transmitted from your hands to breast milk and that may not hurt a full term baby but could harm one that is already ill. I feel like I'm pretty clean with my pumping (always wash my hands before pumping, etc.) but I don't think I'm as careful as they stress on their website (i.e. wash your hands like you are preparing for surgery and keep the milk in the fridge for no more than 12 hours before freezing, etc.) I also use the same parts all day but store them in the fridge. I'm not sure if that would be dangerous for a sick baby. I obviously wouldn't want to donate milk that would accidentally make a baby sick. Should I be that worried about that? Has anyone donated to them and can put my mind at ease?

    I could start following their guidelines more closely now and donate only milk after this point but that doesn't help me with my current problem.

    I also saw information about Human Milk for Human Babies. Has anyone donated milk through them? I guess I'm just a little nervous about giving away milk over the internet like that. I want to make sure it goes to a baby in need and not some weirdo.

    For some reason I just imagined that I would be able to drop milk at a hospital and they could get it to babies. But from my limited research, it doesn't seem like that's how it works.

    My sister in law also recently had a baby but is unable to nurse due to a medical issue. I thought about offering the milk to her but I was worried about being sensitive. She is really devastated that she is unable to nurse. Do you think it would be like pouring salt into an open wound to offer my extra milk to her? I want to help and not offend anyone.

    Any suggestions would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Place to donate frozen breast milk

    Donating breastmilk can feel like jumping through hoops! With my first, I didn't look into donating until she was about 5 months old and I already had some milk in the freezer. I'm in Canada, and the only place near me that accepted donations at that point were really strict about it - you had to get tested before you pumped and get cleared to donate, then they would send you the containers they wanted it in, and you had to commit to 500 ounces, and they only wanted it up until you were 6 months PP. I'm not sure if the Milk Bank you're looking at requires any kind of pre-screening? Anyways, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't donate my milk, but I did end up offering it to a friend who couldn't nurse. I just offered it matter of factly - 'hey, I've got a bunch of milk that I've pumped, if you're interested it's yours'. She thanked me but declined. I wasn't offended, and I don't think she was either. I think if you just put it out there without any judgments either way about her accepting it or not, hopefully it won't offend.

    As for the Human Milk for Human Babies, I went on the local group's Facebook page and posted that I had milk to donate. I got a response from a mom with a 5 month old that needed milk, and I actually brought it to them myself - so I got to see that yes, there was indeed a baby there!

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