Have you given or received donor milk?

For information and resources about donor breast milk.
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Penguin
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Have you given or received donor milk?

Post by Penguin » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:08 pm

Donors/ recipients


I'm doing a donor milk topic and I was hoping that if you have given and/ or received milk that you might pretty please write a short paragraph explaning why you did it? I would like to have some 'testimonials' to share around.

Ta muchly :D
DD1 May 2011
Super baby Dec 2013
DD2 Feb 2015 Storked by Parla.
Proud storker: michansam's DS3, katsbi's DD3 and Gwen's mum's DS
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geek anachronism
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Post by geek anachronism » Sun Jul 07, 2013 9:15 pm

The first time I donated was because someone needed it and I was happily beginning to taper off the supplementary night feeds for my newborn.

The second was because I was moving and my toddler refused to drink milk (mine, cow's, wahtever - it just didn't get consumed) so I donated my freezer stash to a friend when I moved - she was expressing and donating because her restrictive diet matched a friend's bub who needed milk but her son's stash was getting low. So it was this chain of donated milk!

I donated because I didn't need it for my bub and I know it's super emotionally important to lots of women that their baby doesn't get ABM, or gets as little as possible, and I could help support that as well as the health benefits.
Married to The Marital Unit, birthed The Child 10 June 2009.

pseudo
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Post by pseudo » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:30 pm

I've donated milk to 6 mums and also fed 3 babies who were not mine, directly from my breasts. This has taken place over 5.5 yrs. All donations have been to mums who were given shit advice and were trying to build their supply back up, aside from my current donor. I did it because the mums didn't want to use formula and I totally got that.
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Post by Bailey's Mum » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:29 am

I knew with DS4 that I would need to supplement. DS2 my milk never "came in," and he had comp feeds from less than a week old until he weaned at 2y2m. In hindsight, he had a reaction to the ABM. We changed brands several times, but he was always in pain, severely constipated and had difficulty gaining weight even with the supplements. After week 6, all comps were given at the breast to ensure he was receiving as much breast milk as possible.
With DS3, there was concern about his BSLs at birth. He was given an ABM comp against my consent at about 3 hours old (I later learned his BSLs were still in the normal range, but it was 11pm, so the paed ordered the comp so his BSLs didn't fall any further during the night). He immediately showed signs of an allergic reaction - this is what woke me to find him being fed the comp. Things deteriorated from there. I agreed to ABM comps but refused to use bottles because of my previous experience - we rigged a supply line with a syringe and NG tube. He continued to show signs of allergy - sneezing, difficulty breathing, severe stomach pain, etc. I switched to HA ABM against medical advice (my paed refused to prescribe the allergy formula). He was diagnosed with colic, and eventually I found a GP/IBCLC who immediately recognised signs of allergy and took stool samples. A consult with a paediatric gastroenterologist confirmed severe gut-based allergy to cows milk protein. We switched to goats milk ABM, and in that week, my 6 week old baby who still hadn't regained his birthweight, gained 900g (and was STILL below his birthweight). The following week, symptoms returned, so we went back to HA ABM. At our 8 week paed check, she refused to accept the diagnosis, so we parted ways and I continued to use HA ABM, which reduced symptoms.
After that, I was terrified of another reaction with DS4, so had arranged "just in case" donor milk and took my own expressed colostrum to hospital. By day 4 it was evident comping was needed, and the paeds registrar didn't even blink when I told her I would be using donor milk instead of ABM. A forum friend started rounding up some milk, and then the roller coaster began. In the 8 months we comp fed, DS4 had 12 days of ABM, all the rest was donor milk or my own EBM (for maybe one comp per day).

You might have to edit to remove the emotion - I still can't talk about it clinically.
DS1 born sleeping
DS2 BF 2y2m (using supply line)
DS3 BF 2y2m2w2d (because we like patterns - 9 months with SNS)
DS4 BF 3y10m3w4d (8 months with SNS)

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Post by fellare » Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:46 am

I donated because it was one of the few ways I could pay back this country for everything that it has done for me. Knew I had lots of milk, expressing was easy. Liked the idea of donating, had the opportunity as there was a milk bank where I birthed.

Donated 11 and a bit Liters to the milkbank, then probably another 10 privately.

Would do it again if I could. Wish I could make the time and energy free to keep expressing, but am finding it hard to find a recipient. Have had a few crazy situations, one woman showed up with whooping cough! not happy. Wish I could just keep donating to the milk bank.

To me, it's no different than donating blood, except that there are no needles involved :shock:
Boobymonster weaned at 3.5yrs.
Ms Firestorm born august 2015
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Post by Penguin » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:21 am

Bailey's Mum wrote:
You might have to edit to remove the emotion - I still can't talk about it clinically.
I'll leave it in if you don't mind. I wanted people stories as I thought they would be more personal than me just listing off a bunch of reasons. Is that ok? Hugs x


Thanks all, I think you're phenomenal
DD1 May 2011
Super baby Dec 2013
DD2 Feb 2015 Storked by Parla.
Proud storker: michansam's DS3, katsbi's DD3 and Gwen's mum's DS
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Post by Baby Blue Eyes » Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:26 am

I have donated 3 times. Once was a little bit of frozen expressed colostrum as my kids thought it was poison and a friend (cap) had her little boy at my home and he wasn't feeling well so we thought what the heck lets try it.

The 2nd time was BM and the 3rd time was for a local friend who had low supply.

The reason why was because I could help it was something that I was able to do and was happy to be able to help in a way that could benefit and help the mother and child. I joke about that I'm a good 'cow' and have always had a great supply so why not help where I can in such a wonderful yet intimate way
DS1 - b/f 4 yrs
DS2 - b/f 3yrs 11mths
DS3 - B/F 4yrs 10 mths
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Post by Bailey's Mum » Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:49 pm

^ And your local friend is the reason I breastfed - because she inspired me. If I'm thinking of the right friend :wink:
DS1 born sleeping
DS2 BF 2y2m (using supply line)
DS3 BF 2y2m2w2d (because we like patterns - 9 months with SNS)
DS4 BF 3y10m3w4d (8 months with SNS)

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Post by Karleen » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:01 pm

I'm just in the process of writing up the part of my milk sharing study that deals with the motivation behind milk recipient's use of peer-to-peer shared milk. Your experience is pretty typical BM!!!
Karleen

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Post by Gwen's Mum » Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:39 pm

I used donor milk for DD from the time she was aged 2 weeks to just over 7 months (using an SNS for around 5 months of that) due to my Insufficient Glandular Tissue and her subsequent failure to gain weight or have adequate nappy output.

Donor breastmilk was initially suggested as an option by my midwife, and then mentioned again by an LC I saw at the hospital's breastfeeding clinic. Both, however, indicated that it might be difficult to access milk through the milk bank. Then, while discussing DD's situation with a friend, and without me mentioning the idea of using donor milk, she offered her freezer stash to me. From there, it snowballed and I ended up being offered milk from friends and friends of friends; as well as ultimately accessing milk from the milk bank (easier than I had been led to believe, thankfully); and through informal milk-sharing networks (e.g. Human Milk 4 Human Babies). Between all of those sources, we were able to get by and ended up using around 100mL of formula, once.

So, why did we do it? I'm not entirely sure there's a neat answer to that - partly because once we started down the 'using donor milk' path, we figured we should keep going. We knew it was possible, and we felt comfortable with it as an option. We also weighed up the risks of formula vs the risks of donor milk, knowing that DD was also still getting a significant amount of milk from me - overall we felt that we wanted to avoid the use of formula wherever possible, for health reasons and also on principle (if that makes sense?).
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Post by Nedsmum » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:42 am

My SIL donated milk at the hospital to a baby that was going to be adopted by the extended family. The mum was a very young mum, and she was sent home very quickly after the birth, and the baby was left in the hospital nursery, the extended family members were due to arrive to complete the adoption process a few days later. The hospital pasteurised the milk, but considered it still superior than ABM for a newborn that had not had any breastmilk at all.

My SIL also breastfed her nephew. It was convenient when the baby's mother was working and got caught late at work. SIL was caring for the bub along with her own twins who were a couple of months older - she said it was a lot more logical than having to race down to the shops with three babies to buy ABM, and she wasn't going to let him scream until his mum got home to feed him...
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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Post by Rachwa » Tue Jul 09, 2013 4:55 am

I donated to the milk bank until T was about 12 months old. I also gave EBM to a friend when she needed it for her daughter.

In both cases I did it because it was a resource I had, that was of benefit to others, so I thought I should do what I could. My grandmother donated milk when my mum and uncle were babies (early 1950s) too - but the process of screening and treating was far less sophisticated then!
DS1 (T) Dec 2010, weaned Dec 2012
DS2 (H) July 2013, milk is in!

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Post by Bailey's Mum » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:48 am

Ironically, my mum was a milk donor. When she was in hospital with me (back in the days of 2-week stays), she had so much milk that she was expressing for comfort and donating it to the mother of twins in the next bed. I also think she fed my cousin at a family gathering a few times, too, years later when my baby sister and brother were being breastfed.
DS1 born sleeping
DS2 BF 2y2m (using supply line)
DS3 BF 2y2m2w2d (because we like patterns - 9 months with SNS)
DS4 BF 3y10m3w4d (8 months with SNS)

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Post by katw » Tue Jul 09, 2013 8:53 am

As a blood donor and lab worker in a big hospy, I had reservations about peer-to-peer milk sharing. No screening of donors, no big shiny machines to make sure the fluid is "safe" and just right....however, as I learned more about how little we know scientifically about the breast, learned about what the risks really are of both donor milk and formula, and as I heard more stories of people using donor milk, I began to lose those reservations. I decided to donate some of the extra milk I had pumped for DS when an internet friend asked for help.
katw - mum to 3 girls Superhero 2002, Fairy 2006, Goldeneyes 2009 and one boy - Lennylion 2012

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Post by Monicat » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:10 pm

I donated milk to a friend who was struggling with pumping enough for her newborn, she had very damaged nipples and struggled to feed in the early days and didn't want to use formula. I donated a few times and her nipples healed and she continued to feed her son for 14 months :)
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