When R was tiny we consented to him getting donor milk as mine had dried up due to stress and medication I was on for pre eclampsia.
Due to R’s weight and numerous problems breast milk suited best for the first while and so we gave donated ebm a go.
After R died and I got pregnant again I vowed I would breastfeed. Nothing anyone said would convince me otherwise. I was going to do everything I could to keep K here and alive especially as we had been warned she may be ill when she arrived.
When K was born although I was very ill with pre-eclampsia K fed without any problems. Once home I fed on demand and spent most days at the start cuddling K while she fed.
After a few weeks I decided to contact the only milk bank in Ireland and organised blood tests so that I could donate.
The blood tests were done and thankfully all was fine, I had stopped my medication by now.
The milk bank sent a polystyrene box of empty bottles to me and I began to donate. The milk bank sent me an electric pump to help which worked a lot better than my tiny pump. My freezer started filling up with little bottles all labeled up waiting to be sent on.
Once enough bottles were filled the box complete with bottles went by bus to the clinic. Here the milk was thoroughly tested and sterilised before it was donated to the NICU units that required a delivery.
Unfortunately the milk banks get so little promotion that so few people know it even exists. To me this service is literally a life saver and I like to think that in donating I have repaid my debt to them
Thank you to all the mums who donate and help the tiny and sick babies who need every little drop.
If you want to find out more information check out these links