Eats on Feets

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recently, the FDA has come out with statements that discourage the mama to mama sharing of breast milk through Facebook or other groups.

I feel a need to address this as a milk donor.

Sure sharing has risks. So does riding a bike. The risks are very different but the idea is the same: you need to be responsible.

I would not give a mother any milk that I would not feed my baby- but that is just me. There are of course some loonies out there. While you cannot guard against every risk you can take basic precautions.

Ask for and look at the mother's prenatal blood work. Meet her and her baby- observe her if things don't seem right pass on the milk- there will be other donors. Ask the basic questions: do you smoke, use drugs... etc.

There are a lot of sites to help you decide what you should ask, MilkShare is a great resource.

Sharing milk is a very personal choice. Personally, I have had my baby nurse from other women when I was unable to do so and I am exceptionally grateful I had women in my life who were willing and able to do so. Because I am personal friends with them, I felt safe having my baby have their milk. But, as a mom who has been on both sides I truly appreciate the leap of faith that a mama must make to feed her baby another woman's milk.

Being able to feed another woman's baby is a huge honor. I feel privileged to be chosen to be able to provide that to her.

Honestly, I wish milk sharing was more common and de-stigmatized. If it was more mainstream maybe milk banks would not charge such an obscene amount for their milk and more mothers would consider it as an option. Human breast milk is meant for human babies. Cow milk is meant for baby cows


Heather Reese said...

When my son was in the NICU, there was a baby girl in the room next to us that was born way too early, and weighed less than a lb. I figured that being that the mom delivered so early, she might have problems pumping and producing. I told my nurse that I would be willing to donate my extra milk..... and she told me I wasn't allowed to!!!!

The BabbyMama said...

I was a donor, and honestly, I don't see what all the fuss is about. Of course, you should ask about smoking, etc. and a donor's medical history, but if people are both careful and honest, it should not be a huge production. I ended up donating "unofficial," as in not through a milk bank because my having taken fenugreek for like the tiniest little while disqualified me as a donor. And once I learned that the milk banks would be selling my milk as a prescription item (and not a cheap one, either), I was glad I did it under the table, so to speak.

Just Me said...

I donated unofficially also and I am proud of it

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