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If you can't donate milk, but want to support milk banking...

(64 Posts)
organiccarrotcake Mon 11-Jul-11 13:44:47

What would you be prepared to do?

Or if you are the parents of a pre-term baby that you'd want to benefit from donor milk (or has) would you be prepared to do anything to support milk banking generally (in which case, what?)

I'm not asking for anyone to commit to anything - it's all hypothetical!! Just doing research.

Grumpygils Mon 11-Jul-11 14:12:09

How about giving them a much needed donation of money, however small?

organiccarrotcake Mon 11-Jul-11 15:12:50

grumpygils grin

Any others ladies/gents? If you can't donate, for whatever reason, there are so many other ways that milk banking needs help. But from my research most people I've come across would only be willing to donate milk (milk donation being essential and a truly wonderful gift nowithstanding) but not be prepared to support milk banking in any other way. Or - people don't know how they can help. So if I put together a list of things people could do, what would you be interested in? What do you do for other charities?

Grumpygils Mon 11-Jul-11 19:04:05

How about people transporting milk donations from mothers' homes to the milk bank? People who commute to work at or near a milk bank might be able to facilitate donations that way.

I heard that in the North West there's a satellite milk depot that stores donations from local mothers safely in a freezer until they can be collected by a milk bank further away. It wasn't worth the while of the milk bank collecting donations from one person at quite a distance from their hospital, but to collect from several mothers makes it worth while.

What about starting campaigns to raise the profile of milk banking with the intention of expanding it so every maternity unit has a milk bank and that donor milk becomes available to ALL premature babies, and all newborns who need top-ups in hospital for medical reasons? There must be something that can be done with social networking, twitter & the media surely? Some sort of pressure to be put on Govt?

Or did you mean more like jumping out of an aeroplane to raise money grin?

FloweryBoots Tue 12-Jul-11 15:37:03

I was thinking collecting/delivering donations of milk. Also people could go and talk to mothers about it to encourage more to donate (or support in other ways). E.g. talks at antinatal clases, post natal groups, children's centres, baby groups etc. I'm sure lots of people don't even know about milk donation.

Beveridge Tue 12-Jul-11 21:32:42

Bombard your MP/representative in a devolved parliament with letters complaining about the lack of a national network!

organiccarrotcake Wed 13-Jul-11 09:04:03

Brilliant ladies, thank you. Keep them coming xxx

crikeybadger Wed 13-Jul-11 10:28:32

Agree with Floweryboots- I don't think many people know about it or how it works. Getting the info to people during pregnancy is probably best so they can start doing it before 6 months.

Would be great to give everyone a leaflet during the antenatal breastfeeding session or better still have something in the Bounty pack for all mothers to read.

On a smaller scale- how about a webchat or some awareness raising campaign on mumsnet?

organiccarrotcake Wed 13-Jul-11 21:05:17

Ooh I like that, crikey. I'll contact Mumsnet!

peedieworky Wed 13-Jul-11 21:35:57

I'd be interested in donating milk - how do you go about it?

peedieworky Wed 13-Jul-11 21:38:58

Oh - sorry - just read back! You're looking for other contributions - doh!

threefeethighandrising Wed 13-Jul-11 21:55:02

I'd be interested in knowing how you donate milk too. Does anyone know?

TheRealMBJ Wed 13-Jul-11 22:40:45

Contact UKAMB if you're interested in donating. They can point you in the direction of your nearest milk-bank.

organiccarrotcake Thu 14-Jul-11 12:28:59

There's also a UKAMB Facebook page - everyone welcome and it's a great place to shre experiences or ask questions.

organiccarrotcake Thu 14-Jul-11 12:37:23

This is the best link to find your nearest milk bank:

Some milk banks will collect your milk, but they're usually run by commited nurses in their "spare time", so if you can get it to the bank at all possible that would be ideal.

If you find that for some reason the milk bank can't accept your milk, or you're too far away, but you would still like to support milk banking, becoming a UKAMB member will go a long way to helping to ensure that milk banking not only continues, but also continues its work to grow milk banking in the UK. Without UKAMB there will be no milk banks, and UKAMB is always desperate for funds and members.

If you live a distance from a milk bank but are willing to travel there, you may like to consider setting yourself up as a milk depot. It's very simple to do, and all you do is encourage other mums in your area to become donors, have them deliver their milk to you which you then store in your freezer until you go to the bank with your own milk, so you just take a big batch instead. You would need to do this via the milk bank as you'd need to follow strict food storage and hygiene procedures, but they can help with this. Or PM me, or ask on the UKAMB Facebook group. It's important to do it in consultation with your milk bank (to ensure that they need the milk, and that NICE guidelines are followed).

Grumpygils Thu 14-Jul-11 14:31:21

Like the idea of a webchat smile.

How about one of those e-petitions to the Govt? there were NICE guidelines last (?) year about how to run a milk bank, but no guidelines yet on who donor milk should be made available to. Pressing for those would be a really good thing, as the research evidence basically shows that there would be a benefit to donor milk being available to any baby unable to access it's own mother's breastmilk for whatever reason.

UKAMB are also looking for Trustees.

threefeethighandrising try looking on the UKAMB website smile. Banks will sometimes take donations from mothers living some distance away, so if no luck with the nearest one, worth contacting another. Be warned though, there aren't many, so your 'local' milk bank could be 50+ miles away sad.

Grumpygils Thu 14-Jul-11 14:32:03

Ooops, sorry MN froze on me last night, so major cross-post there blush

hildathebuilder Thu 14-Jul-11 14:37:12

having been a BM donor and the mum of a prem baby I would say the best thing anyone can do is talk about it to anyone and everyone who listens. Oh and make sure that there is clarity on what you need to do to sterilise equipment etc from the beginning. My town Cambridge has a milk bank but the only reason my other mum friends knew about it was because I banged on and on about it. Even then getting answers on what was accetped was sometimes tough

threefeethighandrising Thu 14-Jul-11 18:49:42

I'm going to contact my nearest milk bank and see if they want me to donate.

The map of milk banks is here

threefeethighandrising Thu 14-Jul-11 18:50:16

Thanks for the links smile

organiccarrotcake Thu 14-Jul-11 20:42:08

Great stuff, and some lovely ideas smile

The main challenge at the moment is raising awareness of donor milk with parents, so that they can request it if they find themselves in the situation of needing it. To be able to do more work in this area UKAMB need more funds (they have shockingly low income) so either membership, or fund raising, really will make a difference to where they can reach to. Even updating the website to include some of the great ideas here is going to be tough without additional fundraising.

Would anyone be willing to consider doing some fundraising? Has anyone got experience of it? Perhaps if I could get some ideas of how peope raise funds for a charity that few people know about I could put together some fundraising kits for the UKAMB website?

threefeethighandrising Thu 14-Jul-11 22:02:46

"Even updating the website to include some of the great ideas here is going to be tough without additional fundraising." How so?
I'm a Digital Media (mature) student and updating website is my thing. Could I help here?

threefeethighandrising Thu 14-Jul-11 22:03:20


crikeybadger Thu 14-Jul-11 22:20:10

Have just had a quick look through the Bliss website and can't find a reference to UKAMB. I would have thought there would be an opportunity there to raise awareness of their work. They could surely have a link to the UKAMB website? Those parents whose prem babies have benefitted from donor milk may go on to become supporters or fundraise for UKAMB.

Just a thought.

Beveridge Thu 14-Jul-11 22:34:43

Well, I just conducted an entirely unscientific survey in my living room and my DH would be delighted to jump out of /off of anything high and dangerous for a good cause - just asked him and his face lit up at the prospect!

Seriously though, I think abseiling/parachute jumps/etc. would attract people to do it who really want to do the activity itself. Sponsorship would also be a good way of engaging people in discussion about milkbanking when you have the 'Can you sponsor me (or DH!)to do x/y/z, it's for .....' conversation, aside from actually raising funds.

I have no experience of organising or participating in anything like this but I might know someone who has.

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