Mass-milk producing mummy donates over 2,000 litres of breastmilk!
A US mum deals with breastmilk oversupply by donating it to those who need it the most.
At any given time, US mummy of two Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra has 5,000 ounces of breastmilk (give or take) stored in her freezer.
She also pumps around six litres of breastmilk every day in addition to nursing her six-month-old baby.
What magic milk booster does she take? None actually.
In February this year, Elisabeth was diagnosed with a condition known as hyper-lactation. According to paediatrician Lori Feldman-Winter (speaking to TODAY), Elisabeth’s case is, “out of the range of the garden variety of hyper-lactation we would see.”
In general, most lactating mums would only have a little bit of extra milk (e.g. producing 1100ml instead of 800ml).
So what does Elisabeth do with all this milk?
This generous mum makes sure her excess milk goes to the right people. Half of it is sent to a milk bank, while she donates the rest to local mothers who need it.
In an interview with People, she said, “This is my way of being active in my community and giving back to humanity,” adding that it’s her “labor of love”.
How it started
Elisabeth first donated her milk when she was nursing her first daughter Sophia, born in 2014. But it was only when her second daughter Isabella was born that she started taking her role of ‘milk producer’ more seriously.
After a 30-hour labour, Elisabeth was too exhausted to breastfeed Isabella for a whole 24 hours after her birth. So she had to turn to donor breastmilk for the first couple of feedings. It was this experience that fuelled her passion to help other mums who might find themselves in the same situation.
Now, she dedicates up to 10 hours a day to the whole process of pumping milk. This includes time spent, “washing and sterilising, setup and breakdown to pump, actual pumping, bagging milk, weighing the milk, labelling, laying out to freeze, organising, and storing the milk,” says Elisabeth. Additionally, “time spent keeping up with my milk bank qualification, and organising local donations.”
But she’s not complaining, because she truly loves what she does.
“This is my choice. But I feel the donor’s side is rarely talked about. Many mothers want me to just give my milk freely to them when they cannot provide enough simply because I have so much. Yes I do have a lot to give, but I can’t freely feed all the babies,” Elisabeth explains.
Oversupply of breastmilk
Many breastfeeding mums see an oversupply of breastmilk as a ‘good problem’ to have. But in reality, producing too much breastmilk (if not managed properly), can lead to issues for mummy such as blocked ducts and mastitis.
This is why you should be cautious with pumping/expressing unnecessarily as your breastmilk is produced according to supply and demand. So if you pump in excess, it’s likely that you will produce breastmilk in excess too. Unless you need this excess milk for baby, then it’s pointless stimulating your breasts so much.
If you have an oversupply of breastmilk that occurs without any stimulation, then medical experts recommend that you see a doctor in order to rule out possible medical problems, such as thyroid issues.
If you would like to donate your excess breastmilk to those who need it, do get in touch with Singapore’s Breastmilk Bank. Click here for details.
Source: Essential Baby
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