Milk Bank - any experiences?(9 Posts)
I'm aware that there's a milk bank at my local hospital & would like to donate once DS2 arrives if possible but I can't find any information about it, other than the date that it opened & fundraising details & I completely forgot to mention it to the midwife at my appointment today!
Does anyone have any experience of donating to a milk bank? Do they do tests every time you donate or is it more of a register & keep supplying situation? Do they collect it or do you have to take it there? Are you supposed to freeze it or refrigerate it? Is there a minimum amount you have to be able to collect?
So many questions! You'd think they'd have some information about it somewhere on the website, even if it was just who to contact!
Yes,some experience with donating to the JR in Oxford. Pain in the neck. They didn't answer the phone so I ended up phoning switchboard who put me through to the neonatal unit who jumped when I told them I had over a litre to donate. Got conflicting information regarding collections. And the only reason I knew about it at all was because of our excellent community midwife who knew I was good with the pump from my first DC. Milk bank have made it anything but easy.
However, I hope you do it. Since mentioning it to a few people, a few friends have revealed how their babies were alive because if donor milk. I have rarely been more proud of something. Find a way!
Have you seen this website? www.ukamb.org It gives an overview about donor milk generally and has some links to milk banks.
I donate to King's in London. Unlike mimmi I've found it very easy. They do some blood tests when you register and I think repeat them periodically. You freeze the milk in bottles they provide, then once you've got a fair amount you ring and they send a courier. Premature babies drink tiny amounts so they are grateful for small quantities. Personally I express for 10 mins a day as any more makes me too engorged. The sterilising takes about as long (you have to do that every time). Happy to answer any more questions.
I have a baby in the neonatal unit at the moment and have probably litres and litres in the freezer-way to much for my own dc. But I can't donate it. The criteria is now very very strict. You can't take any drugs whatsoever. As I'm diabetic, that's a big 'no'.
I've also been told that as well as all the tests they run on the milk, and the interviews etc of you, you would then be expected to take the milk up yourself. With a newborn, this would be a big ask.
I am going to at some point have to throw away all this frozen milk-way too much for even the NNU to store atm. Such a waste. Every woman on the unit has so far been turned down due to the criteria.
If you manage it, it's a wonderful thing to be able to do.
There is a good informal Facebook group to donate within your local area: Human Milk for Human babies (can't link as on my phone). This might be a better idea for the pp who officially can't donate
I "officially" can't donate as I had a blood transfusion and egg donation via IVF and there is apparently a tiny tiny risk of CJD. I fed my daughter (still do) and several of my friends had some frozen surplus milk too (of course I told them re: official rules and they were fine with accepting after researching themselves)
I did and found it a piece of cake. There was one initial call to my gp to get the results from my last antenatal blood tests, then they sent me some bottles, I pumped and froze it, then they sent a lovely man on a big fancy ambulance motorbike thing to pick it up
They did ask that if I'd taken any drugs or got pissed I left it 24 hours before pumping, which seemed fair enough
Second the ukamb link above
Do it, it gives you a huge sense of satisfaction
Thanks all, it's nice to hear such enthusiasm for something that I'm pretty sure will get looks from everyone I know! Given that I'm a home-birther & planning on home-schooling, I'm quite used to getting looked at like that!
That link was really useful & has made me feel a lot more confident about it. I've got a growth scan booked for Monday at the hospital so I shall demand more information then! There's a possibility I might have to give up/cut down on a few things like my E45/tea tree oil cream for my rosacea but it's only mild so it's just vanity - I can cope with redder cheeks! Other than that I can't see any obvious criteria that would rule me out. I'm excited now!
Wow, sounds like it really varies. I doubt you'd have to give up E45 jojo, they're fine with my asthma inhalers for example. Hope it all works out for you, it's a very satisfying thing to do. For what it's worth nobody has reacted strangely to me but I guess I don't mention it very much. I don't see how it's any weirder than giving blood but I guess some people would.
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