Breastmilk continues to have value into the toddler years. If Elizabeth had been able to nurse, she would still be receiving mama’s milk as her primary nutrition. Because of having to exclusively pump and the challenges I experienced with maintaining milk supply, we are now out of mamas milk. I’m mostly okay with that– knowing we gave it our all and kept her on 100% mamas milk for her first year (with supplemental foods at appropriate ages) and then supplemented her diet with mamas milk for many more months. Recently, we’ve been blessed with some donor milk that has helped Elizabeth through some illness and her surgeries. I love that our community can come together and help each other! What a blessing! Here are some tips for receiving donor milk:
*Ask all questions necessary for you to be comfortable (medications, diet, other substances, etc…).
*Don’t hesitate to ask about health status. Many mamas that donate locally also donate to milk donor banks (I did!) and are fully screened– I am comfortable receiving milk from known donors even if they aren’t screened but I may not feel the same about an unknown donor.
*Offer bags/bottles/other items and of course, thank you’s and lots of appreciation to your donors!
*Be wary of anyone who wants to sell your milk. Unless it’s a milk bank providing screened, pasteurized milk, don’t pay for it! There are many mamas out there willing to share milk- knowing they are helping other little ones.
*Check out your local Human Milk for Human Babies Facebook group.