Sunday, April 28, 2013

Blog Friends and Breast Milk

I know...quite possibly one of the strangest blog post titles ever. Stick with me here!

This is a picture of me and my friend Kirsten. We met through our blogs a few years ago (maybe 09?), and we got to meet up when I visited San Diego last spring.


She is currently pregnant with a baby girl that is due in June, and also fighting breast cancer. You can visit her blog to read more. She is an amazing, strong woman. I'm so glad I can call her my friend. 

Recently Kirsten shared with me about a grassroots organization called Eats on Feet. Eats on Feet is a way for lactating mothers to share their "extra" milk with moms and babies who are looking for breast milk. In Kirsten's case, she will not be able to nurse her little one, but she wanted to provide her baby with breast milk. She was able to find a donor through Eats on Feet, and has already started a stock pile in her freezer. When she told me about this, I immediately started looking for babies near me who could use my milk. I was blessed with more than enough milk in M's newborn days (honestly, it was way too much), so I ended up pumping a lot and freezing it. A lot of that milk was getting close to the 6 month mark, meaning it was going to go bad. I knew there was no way we'd be using it all, so I was able to go on the Eats on Feet facebook page for North Carolina and find a local mom who could feed it to her little guy. She came by Thursday and took home about 50 ounces of milk that would have just ended up going down our drain. Even neater, her baby boy shares a birthday with my M. 

So why am I sharing this? 

I am not sharing this to say that all breastfeeding moms should start pumping for someone in need. Not at all! But I hope that if there are other moms out there who are in my situation (a freezer full of milk that they weren't going to use), you can connect to another mother in your city who can use your milk to feed her little one. This isn't a post that is saying breast milk is better than formula. I say feed your baby in the way that's best for YOUR family! But there are cases where a mother wants to feed her baby breast milk, but she can't for whatever reason (adoption, the mother can't produce milk, the mother is going through chemo, etc!). In cases like that, I think it's awesome that there is this organization so that all moms have the option of using breast milk to feed their baby.

Hopefully this little PSA of mine will help at least one momma out there clean out her stock pile in her freezer!

14 comments:

  1. I think that this is awesome!! I never had much extra milk to share but I always wished I did. Maybe I will get lucky with baby Charlotte!

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  2. This is great Rach! :)

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  3. Thanks for sharing about Eats on Feets, Rachel! I'm so glad you found it useful! I obviously think it's a great resource that I'm happy more people are learning about.

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  4. That is so awesome! I love hearing of other moms helping a mom in need! How cool that the little boy has the same birthday as your girl! :)

    I didn't really pump unless I had to leave L for awhile because I hated it. I had maybe 7 bags of frozen milk in the fridge, that was it. I had a great supply, but L nursed a lot and needed pretty much everything I had. I didn't have an oversupply or anything like that, but if I did, I would so donate milk I wasn't using. It's such a nice thing to do if you can :)

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  5. I love that you shared this, and I was so so happy when I saw Kirsten had options to get breast milk for her little girl!

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  6. Hi Rachel. I've been reading your blog since you were pregnant & absolutely love it! I just recently (Feb 27th) had a little girl of my own & have loved every second with her but have struggled greatly with breastfeeding due to a lack of supply.

    When I read this post it made me break out into a smile. I recently found out about Eats on Feet and have been following closely hoping to find someone in CLT who has been blessed with an overabundance. If there is a chance that in the future you may have a freezer stash getting to the point where it will need to be thrown out would you consider letting me come & pick it up?

    So glad you're helping to get the word out about such a great organization!

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  7. What a great way to help other moms. I love hearing about women who want to build others up instead of pick and be mean. Thanks for sharing. I hope someone reading gets to help the organization!

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  8. Thanks for sharing this. What a wonderful organization and I wish I had known about this sooner. I would have loved to share my oversupply with a mom/baby in need instead of dumping it.

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  9. I'm really happy you shared this. Before having my son, I would have been anxious about sharing milk, but since struggling with my own low supply randomly when he hit 9 mos, I've learned a lot about milk sharing. I ended up getting milk from a college friend of mine and using an SNS for a while until it picked back up. I still NEVER share that information because people think it's SO WEIRD. My friend, and milk donor, used to say, you don't know the cow whose milk you drink, at least you know me! Milk banks are insanely expensive and the comparison of breast milk to formula is insane. People are trying to get these local milk sharing groups shut down, but many of the women do the research they need-testing or what have you depending on how well they know the donor-to keep their babies safe. You have enough of a readership that I hope it takes some of the stigma away...and I'm glad to hear that you didn't have to dump your milk!

    I'm so thankful that the second baby seems to be resulting in a little better milk supply for me. I guess the pump was primed the first time. You may have LOTS to share if you decide to have another :)

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  10. Rachel, so neat that you posted this information. We found out around month 4 that our daughter has a protein allergy to dairy/ soy, so I was not able to feed my daughter our stored newborn milk. Ours too was just going to be going down the drain, which was heartbreaking as much time was spent pumping. We live in Raleigh, NC and a great resource here is the mother's milk bank at Wake med. I took a donation of 303 oz. last week that will be used in the nick for sick babies!

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  11. Rachel, so neat that you posted this information. We found out around month 4 that our daughter has a protein allergy to dairy/ soy, so I was not able to feed my daughter our stored newborn milk. Ours too was just going to be going down the drain, which was heartbreaking as much time was spent pumping. We live in Raleigh, NC and a great resource here is the mother's milk bank at Wake med. I took a donation of 303 oz. last week that will be used in the nick for sick babies!

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  12. Rachel, so neat that you posted this information. We found out around month 4 that our daughter has a protein allergy to dairy/ soy, so I was not able to feed my daughter our stored newborn milk. Ours too was just going to be going down the drain, which was heartbreaking as much time was spent pumping. We live in Raleigh, NC and a great resource here is the mother's milk bank at Wake med. I took a donation of 303 oz. last week that will be used in the nick for sick babies!

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  13. Rachel, so neat that you posted this information. We found out around month 4 that our daughter has a protein allergy to dairy/ soy, so I was not able to feed my daughter our stored newborn milk. Ours too was just going to be going down the drain, which was heartbreaking as much time was spent pumping. We live in Raleigh, NC and a great resource here is the mother's milk bank at Wake med. I took a donation of 303 oz. last week that will be used in the nick for sick babies!

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  14. Rachel,
    We found out around month 4 that our daughter has a milk/ soy protein allergy and I too had a freezer full of stored milk from her newborn days. I killed me to think that she would not be able to ever use that milk and that "liquid gold" would be going to waste. We were told by our lactation consultant to donate our unused milk to the Mother's milk bank here in Raleigh, NC. The process is not super complicated and the milk is used for very sick NICU babies. I dropped off 303oz. last week, and it was a great feeling to know that I was helping others with milk that our daughter was physically unable to use! Thanks for raising awareness to these resources.

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