“I have worked as a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) nurse for 7 years and I am now a neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP). I became a breast milk donor because I know how much it impacts NICU babies firsthand.
Human milk is the best thing for these infants who weigh less than a pound and need something biologically appropriate and easy to digest. I also know how much it impacts their mothers. NICU moms are experiencing some of their most stressful moments in their lives. Usually, their babies were born prematurely, and their bodies aren’t ready to make a ton of milk right away. These moms try their best to provide for their baby but are so relieved that they have donor human milk as a bridge until they can start producing milk or as a supplement if they are unable to produce enough. Breast milk is so important to these premature infants. It amazes me how many women are willing to donate and provide this amazing milk! It truly saves lives.
The most rewarding part about donating is seeing what our milk can do. Prolacta products are used at the facility where I work. I was a part of that change and showing evidence as to why it is worth the cost to allow these infants to get exclusive human milk diets. Seeing the Prolacta products come into our NICU and watching the necrotizing enterocolitis rates drop is all the reward I need! The compensation has been huge in allowing me to pursue my doctorate and continue to help these babies as best as I can.
My biggest pumping achievement so far has been the length of my journey. It has been 13 months and I plan to keep going until my body makes me stop. Recently, I hit my donation goal and have set a new goal of shipping in 15,000 ounces during my journey.
My advice is to come up with a routine and stick with it! Once you have a routine, it becomes second nature.”