Remember my post when I decided to donate to the milk bank? I did something today that will help babies and moms. I donated 101 ounces of Ava's milk! It's milk that she'll never eat. I'm blessed with an insanely strong supply and when I'm working all day in the office and we're apart, I pump 2x more than what she drinks while she's at daycare. So after 7 weeks back at work, I have an insane freezer storage issue! I take the frozen milk to the daycare, but after 7 weeks, they've only used 2 bags because I always have enough fresh. I keep it there for a backup.
So this afternoon, I packed up the cooler with the frozen milk and drove to the Indiana Mothers' Milk Bank, located here in Indianapolis. In the past couple weeks, I went through the screening process that included a blood sample, medical history, and release forms for my doctor and Ava's doctor. This was my first donation. I still have about 50 ounces of fresh milk in bottles in the fridge that I'll have to freeze most of it over the weekend. It's a little crazy! This is all when I'm feeding her and she's gaining weight! In fact, at 16 weeks, she's at 15 lbs and 6 oz and her birth weight was 8 lbs 2 oz! Luckily the baby weight is coming off of me slowly, but surely and then going onto her! With Ava's healthy growth and my supply, I'm honored to share her milk since she will never go through all of it before it spoils.
I got a tour of the facility where they defrost donated milk, combine it to normalize the nutritional content, pasteurize, and then repackage for distribution. I learned that the pasteurization kills the bacteria in the milk, but retains the healthy antibodies and most of the living cells precious to these babies in need. I saw the massive amounts of frozen mother's milk and the bottles that will be sent to hospitals throughout the Midwest for premature or sick infants that need immunity and nutrition. I was pleased to see Trader Joe's has donated cooler bags and paper bags for their shipping materials. You know how I love Trader Joe's!
I'm going to volunteer at the milk bank's sponsored Lactation Stations at the Indiana State Fair in Aug. They have stations setup that give breastfeeding moms a place to sit and relax with fans, shade, and cold water in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the Fair. Their goals of having the presence at the Fair are to raise awareness that Mother's Milk is available at the hospital, recruit donor moms, and in general to advocate breastfeeding! Sign me up for that! I'm so excited to help out moms with a place to breastfeed their babies and relax. Anyone else want to join me?
I left the milk bank full of hope and a stash of Medela Pump and Save Bags! Thanks, Dane! What a great way to start the weekend!