Advanced search

We've spent weeks researching and testing breast pumps and bottles in real homes with real families. Read our baby feeding bottle and breast pump reviews to find out which ones were awarded Mumsnet Best.

Offering milk to a friend whose babies will be 2 months prem? Inappropriate? Weird? Disgusting? Invasive? Nice? Supportive? Generous? Opinions wanted please.

(41 Posts)
LifeOfPee Fri 17-May-13 23:02:24

One of my best friends is PG with twins. She's due to deliver them via section within the next few days. She's 31 weeks so they'll be significantly premature.

I am currently BFing my 5 week old DS. I am blessed with an abundant milk supply.

If my friend struggles to EBF both babies would it be odd to offer her some of my milk so she can avoid formula? I know she has been keen to BF both babies throughout her PG but they weren't due to be delivered for another couple of weeks, at least, however one twins growth has slowed right down so delivery has been moved forward.

I know they will only need milk in very small quantities at first, they'll be tiny, but at only 31 weeks PG and recovering from a section I also know she may struggle. She BFed her other two DC, exclusively, for a few days only before moving onto mixed feeding and then swiftly onto fully FF. I don't think she was very confident in her ability to feed them and perhaps wasn't supported or encouraged enough by her partner or mum to keep going and was perhaps a bit squeamish about it.

I don't want to weird her out or make her feel uncomfortable and, obviously, I'll be supporting her 100% in her attempts to express and feed both babies AND if she decides to give them formula (her babies, her body, her choice) but it seems too serendipitous (to me anyway) that I'm making newborn baby milk and she will have two newborns who would really benefit from being EBF. I know it's possible for her to make enough milk and her milk would be better for them than mine but I also know mine would be better for them than formula.

I used to donate milk to the milk bank at Kings College, years ago when I was feeding my DD. I am a BF supporter both voluntarily and paid (when not on mat leave) so I probably have a biased view about all things boob. Having said all of this though I don't really know how I'd feel if the shoe were on the other foot and I were due to deliver premie twins. Would I want her milk? Honestly, I don't know. I just know that if her babies develop any GI problems due to formula (i.e NEC) I will massively regret (understatement) not having offered her some milk.

What do you think? I guess the sensible answer is wait and see smile

Honeymoonmummy Fri 17-May-13 23:15:26

I'd mention it to her. You're a very considerate friend smile

Trumpton Fri 17-May-13 23:19:21

It's a lovely idea. My friend and I fed each other babies 30 odd years ago ( maybe odd wasn't the best word to use grin )
We didn't do it on a regular basis but if we were babysitting and the baby needed a feed then we did.

LaVitaBellissima Fri 17-May-13 23:20:10

My Id twins were 6 weeks early and I was pushed to give them formula in hospital so they wouldn't lose too much weight. I mixed fed, so expressed all I had as they were too little to suckle properly, then bottle fed expressed milk and did formula top ups.
I exclusively breast fed for a year from 2 weeks but still feel sad about being pushed into giving formula (even though I think they did need it as they were losing wight even with it) or being given options.
I think you are a great friend and need to broach it with her, some people can get totally weirded out by talking about breast milk donation etc but good luck smile

MoleyMick Fri 17-May-13 23:23:07

I think you are very kind and your friend will appreciate your offer even if she prefers not to take you up on it. It's clear you are offering because you care and want to help make things easier, not being pushy or anything.

usualsuspect Fri 17-May-13 23:23:42

I think she needs to make her own mind up, and not be made to feel bad or guilty if she decides to FF.

5madthings Fri 17-May-13 23:23:59

I think its a lovely offer and if you are good/close friends then yes do offer but the hospital may want you tested/screened ( obv you will have had HIV tests etc in preg?) But that is something to consider that may cause an issue but as you have donated before you know about that side of it I imagine smile

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 17-May-13 23:25:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WouldBeHarrietVane Fri 17-May-13 23:28:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirBoobAlot Fri 17-May-13 23:31:07

Yes, offer smile You're a fantastic friend. Also worth mentioning the fact you used to donate both to her, and for her to mention to the medical team. There is a baby milk sharing movement going on at the moment, and doing it between friends is always the first step smile

LunaticFringe Fri 17-May-13 23:31:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 23:32:56

It's a very caring offer. If it's to be a private donation then have hiv tested for (not saying you have this in anyway ) and be sure to not be taking any medications. On the issue of feeding babies the breastmilk donation should be run by her medical team so they can give the medical 'yes' to your donation.

Metbird Fri 17-May-13 23:37:30

Do it, do it, do it! There are donor milk banks in this country, but they are few and far between. Breast milk is even more important for premature babes, so if she can' t express, then unless she is very fortunate, the hospital will be forced to give formula. You will have to prove you HIV status, since that can be passed on in your milk, but you would have been tested during your pregnancy, and it will be in your notes. If I was in her position, I would want to be offered the opportunity to say yes. Have you thought of being a milk donor? I was one when I breast fed my is a good feeling to know that every ounce you express will hep other babies, not just your own.

Metbird Fri 17-May-13 23:40:33

Sorry...I need to read your post more thoroughly OP...of course you know the benefits, you have been a donor! You are a good friend....and you milk is better than any cows' !

TwitchyTail Sat 18-May-13 13:59:35

Lovely idea. I had a prem who needed topping up and would have welcomed this.

glorious Sat 18-May-13 14:19:48

I agonised over a similar scenario - I donate to the milk bank locally and knew a friend needed to give her (term) baby extra milk for reasons I won't go into but wasn't keen on formula.
I was worried she'd find it odd / feel it insensitive to demonstrate I could make more than I need. I emailed so she didn't have to react in person and said I would understand if she didn't feel comfortable about it and she needn't ever mention it if so. I also sent her links to kellymom info on milk sharing and said she could see the results of my milk bank blood tests but she'd need to be comfortable with a small risk. Obviously I don't totally know how it went down but I think she appreciated the offer even though she decided not to take it up. I was glad I offered and of course not remotely worried that she said no, in fact it was a mild relief as it would've been a faff smile

TreeLuLa Sat 18-May-13 14:21:54

I had DTs early and really struggled to feed them. I did manage to establish bf and ebf till 10 months, but I WISH I had had a kind friend like you and hadn't had to give them formula for the first 3 days.

Yes, offer!

TittyBojangles Sat 18-May-13 15:48:26

If it was me I'd be ringing round my friends asking for any spare milk but then I know other ppl who would be grossed out by the idea of using someone else's milk. I think it's a lovely idea to offer, she can say no.

Lauriepies Sat 18-May-13 17:39:23

I think it is one of the kindest things you could possibly do for her and her babies. I think be honest and say that you understand completely if she feels funny about it but the offer is very much there and you would love to help her if she would like it. She is lucky to have a good friend willing to do this for her so I wouldn't worry about it at all x

Nicknamefail Sat 18-May-13 21:18:22

How kind of you. I think not is a great idea. The only word of warning is that some people will think it is gross, and your friend may think this. If she does, hopefully she will get over this and just say no thank you. Just be prepared for this reaction. Although from the title if this thread you probably already are ready for anything.

Nicknamefail Sat 18-May-13 21:19:20

Just to emphasise, I think you are lovely.

CabbageLooking Sat 18-May-13 21:22:21

You are a lovely person. It is possible that your friend will find the thought a bit weird but I bet they'll appreciate that you are offering a very kind gift. Don't take offence if they say no, but make the gesture. smile

UseHerName Sat 18-May-13 21:23:27

wow i didn't breastfeed but my dc had donor breast milk in scbu and if one of my friends had offered what you're offering i would have been overwhelmed with gratitude

<gulp, sniff, sob>

Gurke Sat 18-May-13 23:27:49

Lots of good advice here already, esp HarrietVane about practical things to consider about pumping and donating milk.

My DS was 12 weeks premature, completely unexpectedly. One of the nicest things to happen in those horrible, anxious, stressful first days after he was born was to get a text from an old friend (not a majorly close one, but have known him for ages) to say that his wife would be more than happy to donate her breast milk, if I ever struggled. The text came just as I was freaking out about why I couldn't seem to express any colostrum, and why my milk was so slow to come in (I had ZERO help from the hospital). It was such a relief to know there was a backup plan! As it happens I did then manage to google my way to advice on how to start expressing etc and soon had established a good supply. But knowing that there was another option that didn't involve formula made me feel much better.

So: I know everyone is different. But if it was me you'd be offering it to, I'd say let your friend know the offer is there (without going into all the details) - and if she expresses an interest, you can then work out how the mechanics and involve her babies' doctors etc. You're lovely and it's a very kind gesture, however she ends up feeling about it.

D0GWithAYoni Sat 18-May-13 23:36:02

It's not weird to me. Always makes me hmm when people are grossed out by human bm but will happily feed cows milk. I live in the country those udders are repulsive.

My v good friend (also a mner) had to go to hospital about 2 days after having her dc4 she wasn't allowed to feed baby I offered too luckily she ended up kicking up stink with help of mn and having baby bought back but she didn't think at all odd that I offered to feed her (I was there when she was born and we are like sosters closeness) she was worried about confusing baby and sabotaging bf by introducing a bottle so soon.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: