Donating Breastmilk During Formula Shortages
Many moms who use formula to feed their babies struggle to get through formula shortages. But, if you’re a mom who deals with breastmilk oversupply, there may be a way you can help! Donating breastmilk is a great option for breastfeeding moms who want to help out, especially during the formula shortage!
Donating Breastmilk to Milk Banks
One way that you can donate your breastmilk is by using milk banks. Milk donor banks take your breastmilk supply and give it to babies in need. However, there are rules for donating breastmilk through a bank. The milk from breast milk banks is highly regulated, meaning you must be screened before becoming a milk donor.
There are milk banks around the world, but one of the largest is in North America. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America has 31 locations in the U.S. and Canada. But even if you don’t have a location near you, you can still contact the closest milk bank and they can help you with the process of screening and delivering your breastmilk.
Direct Mom-to-Mom Sharing
On the other hand, you may decide to find a mama in need to share breastmilk with on your own. You have a few options for donating breastmilk to a mom outside of a regulated milk bank.
1. Use a Milk Sharing Network
There are some groups that help connect moms to each other so that you can donate your breastmilk. Eats on Feets and Human Milk 4 Human Babies helps you with direct mom-to-mom milk sharing in your community.
*Disclaimer: Davin & Adley is not responsible for any interactions made through these sharing sites. If you choose to milk share, please do so at your own discretion.
2. Look for Community Groups
If you don’t want to go through one of the options listed above, you could do your own research and find a mom in your community. Using Facebook groups is a great way to find moms in need of donated breast milk.
3. Personal Milk Sharing
Lastly, you may already have a friend in mind whose baby is struggling! If you are donating your breast milk to a friend, you could add pumping sessions to store milk for a friend or family member.
Milk Storage Options
You have a few options for storage if you are building a breast milk stash to donate.
For example, if you are donating breastmilk to a close friend or family member, you could use the pitcher method. The pitcher method is when you collect milk during your daily pumping sessions in a single container, then prepare your bottles for the next day using the milk. This is a great option if you are pumping for a mom nearby and you can simply bring over the pitcher each night so they can prep the fresh milk for the next day.
On the other hand, if you are planning to create a breastmilk freezer stash to donate, you can use either disposable or reusable breastmilk storage bags. Disposable bags like these from Lansinoh are a great option if you are donating milk over a long distance or don’t have much contact with the mom you are donating breastmilk to.
Reusable breastmilk bags like these from Junobie could be given back and forth between you and the other mom, similar to using the pitcher method. Once the other mom has used the milk, she can give you the reusable bags to fill up again!
Donating Breastmilk the Safe Way
If you want to donate your breast milk, there are a few safety concerns to keep in mind.
First off, you must always be able to trust the person you are milk sharing with. Whether you are accepting breastmilk from someone or donating, you should know who the other person is and make sure this is a safe setup for everyone involved.
Next, if you are donating breastmilk you need to follow safe-storage principles. The CDC explains how to properly store breastmilk so that it is safe for consumption. Cleaning your pump regularly, cooling your breastmilk before combining, and clearly labeling your bags (if using them) are just a few ways to practice safe breastmilk storing.
Improving Your Donating Breastmilk Experience
If you are exclusively pumping for a mom, a great way for them to thank you for your time is to have them gift you a great pumping bra! The Amelia Cami is an amazing option that fits a variety of flanges, pumps (including mobile pumps!), and milk catchers. If you don’t want to sell your breastmilk, this is the perfect way for a mom to still help you out.
Overall, donating breastmilk is a great option for moms with an oversupply who want to help other moms. Remember to look into all of your options and practice safe milk sharing if you choose to donate!
Make sure you subscribe to the blog for more breastfeeding tips! And if you haven’t grabbed your Amelia Swim Cami, make sure you do so before the summer is over! This pumping and nursing swim top is the easiest way to still enjoy summer activities as a breastfeeding mom!