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Thread: Using Donated Milk

  1. #1

    Default Using Donated Milk

    Well, first and foremost... I do not live in the United States (Okinawa, Japan to be exact) so going to a bank is out of the question. I have reached out to the local military community here to see if any one is willing to donate breast milk since mine has dried up after being ill. I received 2 responses within the first hour. It's great to know there are people out the so willing to help out!

    Anyways, let's cut to the chase shall we? I have concerns about using another persons milk. I have read that there is a risk of disease and infection. I would imagine this is true but without a bank to have it pasteurized, what should I do? Do I use the milk as is, no heating to kill germs? Have any of you been in my position? I know casual milk sharing is frowned upon but this is the only way to alleviate my guilt about not being able to provide human milk for my daughter.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Maybe you can find some information that will be helpful here.

    http://www.breastfeeding.com/all_abo...ilk_banks.html


    I'm Laura, mamma of 2

    5-27-06

    8-30-08

    We love and

    We have been nursing for over 2 years now!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,709

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Can you tell us a bit more about your situation? How long have you been without nursing? Have you considered relactation?

    I personally would not use donated milk unless I was very familiar with the person it was coming from and/or had medical tests done. I was in fact in this situation - I used milk from a close friend who had an oversupply problem while I had an undersupply problem. But I would not do it with a stranger unless there were stringent medical tests in place - it is like sharing blood. Can you get in touch with a medical doctor you trust who might be able to set up some blood work, etc., for you for the donor?

    If relactation is not an option, and you can't find a way to be safe with donor milk, then please don't feel guilty about using formula. In a situation where you, through no fault of your own, cannot produce milk for you baby, you should in no way feel guilty about using formula. That's what it was invented for! (I know, easier said than done...)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    2,738

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manitobamommy View Post
    Can you tell us a bit more about your situation? How long have you been without nursing? Have you considered relactation?

    I personally would not use donated milk unless I was very familiar with the person it was coming from and/or had medical tests done. I was in fact in this situation - I used milk from a close friend who had an oversupply problem while I had an undersupply problem. But I would not do it with a stranger unless there were stringent medical tests in place - it is like sharing blood. Can you get in touch with a medical doctor you trust who might be able to set up some blood work, etc., for you for the donor?

    If relactation is not an option, and you can't find a way to be safe with donor milk, then please don't feel guilty about using formula. In a situation where you, through no fault of your own, cannot produce milk for you baby, you should in no way feel guilty about using formula. That's what it was invented for! (I know, easier said than done...)
    She said everything I was thinking!
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mama.midnight View Post
    Well, first and foremost... I do not live in the United States (Okinawa, Japan to be exact) so going to a bank is out of the question. I have reached out to the local military community here to see if any one is willing to donate breast milk since mine has dried up after being ill. I received 2 responses within the first hour. It's great to know there are people out the so willing to help out!

    Anyways, let's cut to the chase shall we? I have concerns about using another persons milk. I have read that there is a risk of disease and infection. I would imagine this is true but without a bank to have it pasteurized, what should I do? Do I use the milk as is, no heating to kill germs? Have any of you been in my position? I know casual milk sharing is frowned upon but this is the only way to alleviate my guilt about not being able to provide human milk for my daughter.
    Here's a link to a press release from La Leche League International regarding informal milk donations. Here's an excerpt:

    Health care providers and researchers have expressed concern that the casual exchange of human milk could be a potential route of transmission for drugs and viruses. CEO, National Commission on Donor Milk Banking and PhD candidate Lois Arnold, MPH, IBCLC states: “Because some individuals may have a viral or bacterial infection but remain asymptomatic (without symptoms) they may never know they are infecting another party. For this reason, ‘knowing someone well’ would be inadequate protection against disease transmission because the carrier is unaware she is infected.”

    You have a difficult decision to make. You care deeply about doing what is best for your baby. I recommend that you consult with your baby's doctor to help you decide what to do.

    Hugs to you
    Marianne
    LLL Leader

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Mother-in-law's (Oregon)
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    If you are looking for info on how to pasteurize BM here's a link. If you are looking for people to donate BM to you try milkshare. If you would like more info than what any of us has provided, do a search on google or another search engine.
    http://www.breastmilkdonations.com/Pasteurization.html
    http://www.mlkshare.com/
    Last edited by @llli*2xstarter; December 8th, 2008 at 09:21 PM.
    New Mom

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  7. #7
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    Alabama
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    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*manitobamommy View Post
    Can you tell us a bit more about your situation? How long have you been without nursing? Have you considered relactation?

    I personally would not use donated milk unless I was very familiar with the person it was coming from and/or had medical tests done. I was in fact in this situation - I used milk from a close friend who had an oversupply problem while I had an undersupply problem. But I would not do it with a stranger unless there were stringent medical tests in place - it is like sharing blood. Can you get in touch with a medical doctor you trust who might be able to set up some blood work, etc., for you for the donor?

    If relactation is not an option, and you can't find a way to be safe with donor milk, then please don't feel guilty about using formula. In a situation where you, through no fault of your own, cannot produce milk for you baby, you should in no way feel guilty about using formula. That's what it was invented for! (I know, easier said than done...)

    Student aspiring to be a Chiropractor and mother to Noah who will be 3 in July and Olivia who will be 2 in Aug.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Thank you all for the support and info. Unfortunately my LO has never WANTED or was not patient enough to latch on well. She pretty much has had a melt down every time I have put her to breast. It is very frustrating. I could kick the Dr. in the junk for not letting me see her for 4 hours after I gave birth but I had BP issues. Oh well...
    Plagued by Mommy ADD *Oh something shiny* ::: runs away from keyboard after shiny object :::

  9. #9

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mama.midnight View Post
    Thank you all for the support and info. Unfortunately my LO has never WANTED or was not patient enough to latch on well. She pretty much has had a melt down every time I have put her to breast. It is very frustrating. I could kick the Dr. in the junk for not letting me see her for 4 hours after I gave birth but I had BP issues. Oh well...
    Anger toward the doctor or the hospital or "the whole system" is good!

    *Almost every* breastfeeding problem is related to lack of good breastfeeding information. And I don't see that as a reason for a mother to feel guilty! I see it as a reason for a mother to feel angry.

    You are a loving, responsible mother. You are taking care of your baby in the best possible way in your situation. Please remember that!

    What I hope comes from angry mothers is action of some kind--sharing their experience with a friend to help her avoid the same thing, writing a letter to doctor or hospital or someone, offering compassion to another mother whose birth or breastfeeding (or whatever aspect of parenting) doesn't go as she wanted it to.

    Marianne
    LLL Leader

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,709

    Default Re: Using Donated Milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mama.midnight View Post
    Thank you all for the support and info. Unfortunately my LO has never WANTED or was not patient enough to latch on well. She pretty much has had a melt down every time I have put her to breast. It is very frustrating. I could kick the Dr. in the junk for not letting me see her for 4 hours after I gave birth but I had BP issues. Oh well...
    Are there local breastfeeding resources in your area? It is possible that someone meeting with you in person could help you to work through some of your baby's difficulties in getting a latch and get you at least partly breastfeeding. I'm still not sure how old the baby is? With a younger baby, it is more likely that the reflexes are still in place to help out.

    I'm not trying to tell you it would be a snap, but it might still be worth a try if you're up for it. There are links on these forums that could give you more information about relactation if you're interested in giving it a try.

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