When my daughter, H1, was born I was very bad about creating a storage of breast milk and the result was massive anxiety every time I had to leave her for more than 45 minutes. ”What if she gets hungry and has a melt down?” was a common thought of not only me but also of my husband or anyone else left to care for her. A trip to Target was a luxury. I was pretty much chained to her while she was breastfeeding and she wasn’t weaned until 16 months.
Enter baby #2 (H2). Lesson learned- to create a sense of freedom and relieve anxiety among all care givers, I have been very diligent about pumping and storing milk everyday. We have a deep freezer and I have been stockpiling every morning- I have over 60 bags at 8 weeks postpartum.
Great! Now where do we put the frozen pizzas that once resided in the freezer? Anyone who has breast fed knows that mother’s milk is liquid gold. The last thing you want to do is throw it out or let it go bad but I am running out of room and my little man surely can’t consume ALL the bags I currently have and will have in the future.
The Epiphany- On Thursday night I went to a birth professionals networking meeting and an answer materialized: Breast Milk Donation to www.southcoastmilkbank.com. I knew something like this had to exist but had yet to explore available options.
The Breast Milk Bank only wants excess milk you have stored. The representative told me if I sign up before September, I can be reimbursed up to $300 if I donate 300 ounces in my first quarter.
How it works:
- Read the FAQ page to find out if you are a qualified donor.
- Fill out an online survey to become a qualified donor.
- The milk bank will send out a technician to take your blood and a cheek cell sample to determine if you are a healthy donor.
- You can still consume up to two alcohol units per day but some medications are prohibited.
So I think I’m going to sign up! Hopefully this will solve my freezer space problems and also help some premature or other babies in need.
For more information on donating breast milk in the southern California, Arizona and Nevada regions, you can check out www.southcoastmilkbank.com. I’m sure there are other banks out there but this is the one I ran into on Thursday night while networking.