My Freezer Full of Milk – A Donor Story
My Freezer Full of Milk
When my oldest son was born, I remember being in the recovery room after my c-section, very nervous about breastfeeding. I was in the middle of telling the nurse that I had no idea what I was doing, when he just latched, perfectly, on his own. I realize now how lucky that was
! My milk came in like clockwork, but soon I had a problem I hadn’t anticipated. My freezer was overwhelmed with frozen milk.
I was working full-time at an office, and my husband was a stay-at-home dad. I asked him to research where we could donate the milk to babies who needed it. He came across some casual milk-sharing networks on Facebook. At that point neither of us had heard of Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. It wasn’t until our second child was born three years later, and our freezer was once again overflowing, that I learned about Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast. I was blown away by the amazing work they do to help the most fragile babies get the best start in life.
Getting Started with the Milk Bank
I was really eager to send my milk to help the babies who needed it most, but I was honestly a little intimidated by the process. A screening, a blood draw. How was I going to deal with the logistics of shipping or bringing my milk to the milk bank? Morgan, donor intake coordinator extraordinaire, helped ease my fears. The screening felt more like a conversation than the barrage of questions I was worried about, and she explained how easy it was going to be to do the blood draw. When I found out how easy it was to arrange a shipment pickup, that was it, I was hooked.
From that point on, I made regular donations, freeing up space in my freezer while helping tiny fragile babies. I’ve never been able to donate blood, so this felt like something I could do with the oversupply that felt like it was just mine by pure luck, to help other families.
Since I live only about thirty minutes from the milk bank, I often brought my children with me to hand-deliver donations. They were completely fascinated getting to watch the lab at work through the window and getting to meet the people who helped get their milk to the babies who needed it. When my youngest was born, Morgan was my first phone call when we got home from the hospital, to get signed up as an active donor again.
Six Years On
My youngest is now heading into first grade, and my pumping days are long behind me, but milk donation is still an important part of our family story. When my kids sit down to look at old family photo books, they see photos of them snuggling while I pumped, and visiting the milk bank. They look back and are proud that they shared their milk to help other babies, and it has been an important part of our foundation as a family. My kids look at this history, and see that even as little babies, they were able to help make a difference, and that is something they carry forward into their lives as big kids, and I hope will continue to carry as adults.
Recently I’ve taken my commitment to Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast to a new level, joining the team as the interim communications specialist. I am proud to be able to support this mission in a new way. If you want to join me in supporting the milk bank, consider joining our team by checking out our job openings, reaching out to volunteer, or providing us with a financial contribution to help us grow.