Today, on World Breastmilk Donation Day , we talk about solidarity and the importance of donating, thanks to the testimony of a woman who has donated 170 liters of breast milk to a bank in Iowa . A milk always necessary, but even more so these days. Why?
Surely the news has already resonated with you that in the US, there is currently a serious problem with the supply of infant formula milk. Supermarket shelves are empty and parents are desperate because they can’t find infant formula to feed their babies.
In February, the Abbott company closed its Michigan plant for reasons of contamination of the formulas produced, including Similac, a brand used by millions of American families.
This added to the problems in the supply chain and the lack of manpower derived from the pandemic, created the perfect storm for supplies in recent weeks to be at a minimum.
We talked about this woman’s testimony and about how we can be breast milk donors, in order to raise awareness about this issue.
Woman donates 170 liters of breast milk amid baby formula shortage
Fortunately there are still noble and generous souls who decide to help in any way, as narrated by the RD Press Zone news channel.
This is the case of Andrea Heidenreich, a mother from Dubuque (Iowa, USA), who has donated more than 45 gallons (equivalent to 170 liters) of her surplus breast milk, with the aim of helping families struggling to feeding their own babies amid a national shortage of baby formula in the US.
She donated her milk to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa in Coralville. In addition, Iowa has been one of the six hardest-hit states, with a stock-out rate of more than 50 percent , according to local news channel KCRG.
solidarity always wins
And it is that, in the midst of this very problematic situation of shortage of baby formula, mothers who breastfeed with surplus milk are asked to donate their additional supply to milk banks, something that Andrea did not hesitate to do, and moreover, with an extremely generous contribution.
We collect the testimony of Andrea to the milk bank, who stated:
“Sometimes women can overproduce breast milk, and I was one of those overproducers. We just decided we could help other parents and babies along the way. There are parents who are very stressed out trying to find formula for feeding their babies, and for moms who can’t breastfeed this can be a big help.”
Andrea also explains that she felt compelled to help after having difficulty feeding her son Oliver when he was born. ” It was very emotional to be able to feed him,” she said. She adds, ” We work with a lactation consultant from Mercy [Hospital].”
Breastfeeding consultants and their importance
According to Andrea, the specialist was able to help her feed her baby and soon she had more milk than her son needed.
Her final donation was a moving moment for her, as she explained, ” I think for any woman when she finishes breastfeeding, it’s an emotional moment. I just know we can help other babies and moms along the way .”
After his last donation on Saturday, Heidenreich wrote these words on Facebook:
“Today was a great day. It marks the end of my pumping and nursing journey. I donated the last of my breast milk to Mothers Milk Bank of Iowa this morning. I donated a little over 45 gallons.”
Feeling lucky to be able to be supportive
And he adds that it makes him very happy to know that he is helping mothers and babies who need it; With this noble gesture, Andrea has felt very lucky.
Iowa Human Milk Bank: A Rise in Milk Donors
Although Andrea’s case is not the only one; A spokesperson for the Iowa Human Milk Bank told KCRG:
“We are experiencing an increase in milk donors who mention the shortage of formula and their desire to help. They are noble and generous women. If moms have extra breast milk and feel they can donate, let them donate, there is a real need right now. “.
Breast milk donation: the guarantee of safe milk
Also, it is important to know that milk banks are accredited by the North American Human Milk Banking Association to ensure that the milk received is safe .
To ensure this safety, donor mothers must undergo a health examination with a free blood test.
How does the process work afterwards? The organization collects the milk, then screens, pasteurizes and tests it, and finally dispenses it to premature and fragile babies in need, either in hospitals or at home.
Let’s not forget that donating breast milk can save lives.
Donate breast milk: how to do it and who can donate?
If you want to donate breast milk, you just have to go to an accredited breast milk bank and get informed. But who can donate?
Women who enjoy good health and a suitable lifestyle, who have been mothers , who are breastfeeding during the first year of their baby’s life and who produce more milk than their offspring need.
But women who have lost their baby, who produce milk and wish to donate it can also donate; Although this situation is delicate and painful, and it is important to respect the rhythms of each one, there are women who decide to do it.
On the other hand, women who decide to donate their breast milk must answer a medical history questionnaire and undergo a simple examination that consists of evaluating the clinical history and performing a blood test or serological tests to rule out diseases such as hepatitis B. , hepatitis C or HIV infection.
And you, have you ever considered donating your breast milk? Or, if not, have you needed it for your baby and have you decided to go to a milk bank? How was your experience?
Photos | Portada (freepik)