A few months ago, I blogged about signing up to donate my breastmilk to a milk bank. Since then, I’ve been slowly squirreling away extra milk. I’m up to 75 ounces in my neighbors’ deep freeze.
Does that seem as strange to you as it does to my family? They were a little taken aback to learn I was calling around the neighbors asking for space to store my breastmilk.
The thing is I can get about 25 ounces per month of spare milk. I need 200 ounces for a donation, and unless I’m using a chest freezer, I wouldn’t be able to gather the milk fast enough to keep it in the safe storage guidelines. So, I crowd sourced this donation project and my neighbors came through in droves. We’ve had many, many offers of storage space for my small jars of milk, all labeled and ready to go once I gather enough of them.
My main hitch in the project has been the bloodwork for the milk bank. The milk bank I am using does not reimburse for blood work if I pop into a lab or my PCP. Instead, they sent me a whole kit (minus the needle and transfer device…and rubber gloves and alcohol swabs) and asked me to find a medical professional to donate a needle and the blood draw.
It’s proven more challenging than I had though.
Again, I tried to crowd source the project. Many neighbors are also health workers, but between their work schedules, my kids’ school schedules, and the opening hours at the FedEx facility for their express pickups, we just haven’t been able to connect.
A nurse friend was able to secure a needle and transfer device for me, but when I went to her house to get her to fill the vials for me, we learned the transfer unit wasn’t compatible with that particular needle…in other words it’s just been a project to get my bloodwork taken care of.
I feel confident we’ll get everything worked out, though. If things keep up at the same rate, I’ll have my 200 ounce donation in 4 more months. That seems a long way off when I type it that way…
Have you ever donated your milk to a milk bank? Leave us a comment to share your experiences!