I am a human milk donor! Yes, you read that right. I feel fortunate to have an oversupply of milk and an honour to help those mothers who would nourish their child with the milk I nourished my own.
I am “that” mom, you know that mom who focuses a lot on personality development (even a little more than nutritional requirement). Having said that, one such trait, sharing is quite a task to imbibe in children. Home is the first school for every child and so the art of sharing begins at home.
Soon after Inaaya was born, I realised I produce more milk than she could consume. I started pumping and freeze-storing them. But Inaaya didn’t get around to have most of what I pumped and clueless of what to do I had to throw most of them away.
In India, there are over 1.4 million deaths of children under the age of five and almost 50% of those cases are babies under 28 days. Breast milk plays a big role in preventing these deaths and seeing this golden superfood being wasted at my home was disheartening. It was then when I came across ‘Amaara Human Milk Bank’s Donation Drive’ on my search engine and I began thinking about milk donation out of goodwill, no compensation and for humanity!
The BreastMilk Foundation is a non-profit organization, in collaboration with Fortis La Femme, operating in Delhi NCR. The bank provides milk to premature newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit and infants whose parents are not able to breastfeed.
How the human milk bank works?
The bank engages lactating healthy mothers preferably the ones whose babies are 0-6 months old. To be a donor I had to give few blood tests to rule out communicable diseases/HIV/medications/Hepatitis/VDRL. Once the screening was clear I started donating.
The donated milk is processed and tested for contamination before giving to the babies at the hospital. It is pasteurised to kill bacteria, then combined with other donors milk to ensure a well balanced fortified milk that contains all nutrients and antibodies particularly for premature babies, sealed in sterilised bottles. For more information, visit http://amaara.org.in
I donated for couple of months. The milk was distributed and fed to babies I have never met and will never meet.
Why I donated?
Overall, World Health Organisation and UNICEF recommends giving mother’s milk to preemies. When not possible, states donors milk as the best backup. These days many strains and factors and babies being born prematurely reduces the ability to produce milk. This is when a pasteurised human milk comes to rescue and help the baby to develop significantly making it possible for them to see this beautiful world.
Even though the lack of knowledge and awareness is low in our society, donating my excess milk gave me a sense of both deeply rewarding and euphoric.
Besides, this is Inaaya’s first step of sharing.
How was your experience with breast feeding? What is your take on sharing human milk? Let me know how you feel
PS. If you know any expecting parent or a premature baby fighting in the NICU, please spread the awareness so they are aware of the availability of fortified milk. You can also contact me for more information if you wish to donate some breastmilk.
Breast feeding mamas, a baby needs you! Please reach out
Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily mirror the views or opinions of any individual.