I wrote a few weeks ago that after learning that the freezers at the Mothers’ Milk Bank of Denver were very low, I had been considering donating my breast milk. I decided to go ahead with the screening process (which is quite thorough, let me tell you) and finally got my paperwork completed and mailed off yesterday. Now I wait for them to review it and, if I qualify, call me to come in for a blood test and to pick up my loaner breast pump from them.
I feel very fortunate and blessed to have had an ample supply of breast milk over the past nearly three years and to have grown one child on it as well as my 4 1/2-month-old who is, of course, still thriving on it alone. I am happy to now have the opportunity to share my milk with other babies in need.
If you are wondering in this day and age, with formula readily available, why milk banks are so important, take a look at this article. The majority of milk from the milk banks goes to babies who are sick or need milk because of medical conditions such as formula intolerance or feeding issues related to prematurity.
Milk banks exist because many babies will not thrive without human milk. Infants with failure to thrive (FTT), formula intolerance, allergies and certain other medical conditions may require real human milk for health and even for survival.
There’s also some very interesting information here about the history of milk banking, including information about the history of wet nursing and artificial feeding (i.e. formulas).
If you are interested in donating* your milk, please visit Human Milk Banking Association of North America to learn more and find a milk bank in your area. Or if you are looking for a worthy place for your tax-deductible donation, please consider making a donation to a milk bank. Milk banks are non-profit organizations and depend on community and private donations to keep the doors open.
*Please note that they require your baby be no older than 6 months when you start donating, so if you are interested, please don’t delay in starting the screening process.