Deena shares her experience donating her excess breast milk to Helping Hands Milk Bank.
1. How did you hear about breast milk donation?
I had friends who had donated to another bank in Oregon. I had also read about milk donation online during my pregnancy.
2. Why did you decide to donate your breast milk?
I was fortunate to have more than enough to feed my daughter and I couldn’t bear the thought of discarding it when I knew how much it could help other babies and their mothers. I’ve also witnessed how much mothers of babies in NICUs appreciate the milk. It makes me feel so wonderful to help in this way.
3. Why did you select the milk bank that you did?
I researched a few banks online and spoke to the employees at Helping Hands Milk Bank on the phone and through e-mail. Helping Hands Milk Bank had a wonderful “feel” to it. They were also very thorough in their screening process which is important to me as I know the milk was handled and delivered with care and professionalism. The staff members at Helping Hands Milk Bank were also very prompt in getting back to me when I had questions. Overall, they made donating very easy and rewarding.
4. How was your donation experience? What did you like best?
I absolutely loved donating my excess milk. Like I mentioned before, the experience made me so happy to know I was doing a good thing. I found pumping, storing, cataloging and freezing my milk to be very easy, albeit a time-consuming process (especially in the middle of the night!). Helping Hands Milk Bank made sending the frozen milk also very easy. I think what I like best is knowing I’ll be able to share this experience with my daughter some day and hopefully she’ll be proud knowing it was because of her, this was all possible. In my opinion, she is really the one to thank. If she had not been so easy to breast feed, I might have had less production.
5. What would you say to a friend or family member that was interested in donating breast milk?
I would strongly encourage them to do so because it is so important to other moms and their little babies in NICUs. I would ask them to put themselves in the position of delivering a premature baby and ask them to think about how grateful they would be to receive this precious gift.