Why One Mom’s Breast Milk Donation Matters
I have great admiration for pumping moms and moms who donate their breast milk to help others.
I have great admiration for pumping moms and moms who donate their breast milk to help others. Other than a short period of time when my daughter forgot how to latch, breastfeeding both of my children has been relatively easy. Pumping, on the other hand, has never been easy for me.
Even though we knew I would continue being a stay-at-home mom by the time my supply stabilized, I started pumping to build up a freezer stash. I figured it would be good to have for date nights and other times away or to donate to a milk bank. My body never responded well to a pump and it became a source of frustration. It’d take me several days to pump enough milk to leave my baby with one 3 ounce bottle.
I gave it another try when someone close needed breast milk for their baby. I added in pumping sessions but struggled to fill those bottles. My desire to help and donate breast milk just wasn’t in the cards.
When I read about Amelia Boomker, a mom of four in Bolingbrook, Illinois, who is the Guinness World record-holder for the most donated breast milk, I was in awe. Over the past seven years, she’s donated 16,321 ounces of breast milk to the Indiana Mother’s Milk Bank. That’s the equivalent of 241 two-liter soda bottles! According to USA Today, ”Milk banks rely on donated milk to help sick or premature infants whose own mothers are unable to provide them with human milk. Experts believe pasteurized donor milk provides these most vulnerable infants with a raft of benefits, including protecting against disease and allergies and helping a baby grow.”
“Amelia’s donations helped save many young lives on the way to setting the world record,” Carissa Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the Indiana milk bank, told the Chicago Tribune. How amazing for her, the milk bank and all the babies she’s been able to help!
Her story is a beautiful reminder about the hard work, commitment and dedication of pumping moms like Amelia Boomker, who pumped for 20 minutes eight to 10 times a day for each of her children. It also brings positive attention to milk banks and how they can be beneficial for providing breast milk donations to those in need. I hope her story and record inspire other moms to pump and donate, if they are able.
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