Just doing my part
I've always felt lucky, blessed really, that I've been able to provide milk for my baby without any troubles. Unfortunately I know that for some women, that's not the case. I know at least three women who have had trouble either producing enough milk for their baby or not producing any at all.
I bought a breastpump when Ava was 6 months old so that I could express some milk to mix with her cereal. We didn't end up feeding her cereal for very long because it constipated her. So then I was left with a pump that I didn't figure I'd have a use for anymore.
During that time I learned about a woman in my area who was expecting baby #3 and, while she wanted him to have as much breastmilk as possible, she knew based on her experience with her other two children that she couldn't produce enough for him. Traditional formula wasn't an option either because her older son was allergic to it and there was a good chance this baby would be as well.
She tried contacting the Mothers' Milk Bank, and while her son qualified for milk with a doctor's prescription, the milk was just too expensive for her family to purchase.
When I heard that she needed breastmilk for her newborn I e-mailed her to offer up mine. Since I've been so fortunate to feed Ava, I wanted to extend the offer to help out her baby. I thought she might be leery, as I would be, since she only knew me from a message board, so I provided her with my medical history, blood work results, and other information that I figured I'd want to know if I were in her shoes. She happily accepted and I've been pumping for the lil guy daily ever since (with the exception of when I had vertigo for a week).
I am so happy that I'm able to help her and her baby out in some small way. Now that I have a breastpump, I plan to donate my milk to the Milk Bank if/when I have baby #2. God's blessed me with such a plentiful supply that I can't imagine not helping out someone else if I'm able.
I've since met the woman and her sweet baby boy in person. And she's since qualified for financial assistance through the Milk Bank so that she's able to get some milk for free there as well. :) I plan to continue to pump for them for a while, at least another month or two.
If you are interested in donating breastmilk or learning more about Mothers' Milk Banks in your area, please visit this web site.