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Donating breast milk to prem baby unit

(7 Posts)
PermaShattered Sat 04-Dec-10 18:32:09

I'm expecting my 4th baby and have never had any real problems breastfeeding. When my youngest child was 15 wks old we nearly lost her to meningitis and I've always wanted to return my thanks to the hospital by donating my breast milk later. With my 2nd I never got round to it, and with my 3rd - it was too late: it turned out that they only take milk in the first 3-6 wks because of the colostrum and my little boy was about 2 months old by the time I made contact.

So this time I really do want to donate milk. If anyone can share their experiences with me on this that would great, thanks!

ThwopGoesTheMooncup Sat 04-Dec-10 19:23:19

Just wanted to say, as the mum of a prem baby, I think you are lovely for thinking of this. It makes a huge difference for the babies whose mums can't feed them, breastmilk massively reduces their risk of serious bowel infections. I haven't donated (never had enough milk) but I wish you luck!

MoonFaceMamaaaaargh Sat 04-Dec-10 19:31:00

Good on you Perma!

Most banks now take milk till your lo is 1yo.

You can find your neares bank here though some will collect from a great distance so shop around!

Basically you pump, freeze and they collect every month/6 weeks.

You need certain blood tests and to meet particular lifestyle criteria.

If you don't meet them for some reason (eg medication) you could consider milkshre

Mull Sat 04-Dec-10 21:57:51

Hi Perma I think donating is a fab idea.

I've received my info today from a satellite milk bank at Exeter hospital (my nearest milk bank from the UKAMB website is Southampton). If there isn't a milk bank near you, give them a call anyway and see if there are any satellite banks nearer to you.

Also try googling or posting your location on MN - I was told about the Exeter one on here!

Well done.

hildathebuilder Sun 05-Dec-10 08:41:21

I second Moonface. My local unit also takes milk until the babies are 1, provided your first donation is made within the first 6 months.

I gave my local NICU several litres when DS was discharged at 37 weeks but after then didn't have much extra, but I know every drop was used as the stuff they got was prem baby breast milk. The early stuff is very valuable.

Some units will lend you a pump, its wort asking, some collect weekly some less often, if you live near a bank you can also drop milk off to them.

You do have to have blood tests, which they will do effectivly to screen for diseases, pretty much like if you give blood. Also they check how much alcohol, caffeine etc you drink, but they pasteurise everything afterwards so its not a case of you can't donate if you have the ocassional glass of wine etc.

organiccarrotcake Sun 05-Dec-10 10:28:07

Just wanted to add, often units are very understaffed and while desperately keen to get new donors they don't always get back to you. If this is the case persevere!

PermaShattered Sun 05-Dec-10 19:17:23

Great stuff, thanks all of you. In the light of your experiences, I can't understand why I was told they only take milk from 3-6 weeks! At least I have another chance anyway (and my last one... hopefully!).

BTW I have ALWAYS used the Avent hand pump which has always been fantastic for me. Well, except when I was using massive electric things in the hospital when my daughter was ill and not able to feed - and I felt like a cow being milked.... Thanks again!

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