Milk donation looks different to every mom. Regardless of whether you are the recipient or the donor, every experience is unique. Perhaps you’re giving a dozen ounces to a mom-friend who is sick and needs a good night’s sleep, emptying a shelf on your deep freezer, or setting up a steady donation. Most moms or organizations that receive donor milk want to know a few basics about you, including any medications you take, special dietary habits (like no dairy or gluten), or if you smoke or drink regularly. Some mom’s care a lot about those questions, others are eager for any milk donations, so if you have any special circumstances be forthright, you’ll still likely find someone interested.
Some moms donate to an organization or a hospital, and sometimes this is compensated. These donations usually have specific requirements for minimum donation and be aware, if your milk does not meet their standards there is risk it will be discarded. You can also sell on a private site, think of this as a “Craigslist” sort of setup.
You can find a donation recipient on Facebook, most states have a their own page from “Human Milk 4 Human Babies” where individual donors and recipients can and set up one-time, short-term, or long-term donations.
Quite regularly mom’s find themselves away from home during their breastfeeding journey with a surplus of milk that isn’t coming home with them. This is a great opportunity for a one-time donation. Posting a notice on the Human Milk 4 Human babies page an easy way to help out a mom and baby while allowing you to travel lighter and without the added stress of maintaining the integrity of your pumped milk.
Receiving Donor Milk
Many moms need to use donor milk for a variety of reasons, if you are given milk, be sure to express your appreciation. Remember, that mom spent time attached to a machine, not doing chores or enjoying her baby, just so your child could have her milk. That is a big deal. If you are able and the mom is still pumping, it’s always very kind to offer to replace milk bags. Please always be thankful, and don’t make demands of the donor mom. And if you are able, give them a sweet card and perhaps something yummy or special.
Note: Always use caution when meeting strangers: meet in a public place and make sure someone else knows where you will be and when you will be there.
Jenny Ditch lives in Illinois with her husband and little girl and has loved donating milk.