Saturday, June 09, 2007

Breast milk donation opportunity

Elena tipped me off to this opportunity, and she has already written a fantastic post explaining how it all works. Basically, if you're a healthy nursing mom, you have the opportunity to pump extra milk for other babies in need. Some of your milk goes straight to Africa, to feed HIV babies. The rest is used to help NICU babies here in the States.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine was in the hospital for a few days and wasn't able to breastfeed her 10 month old. To help out, I pumped extra milk for her daughter. I was amazed at how easy it was to feed a second child (albeit not entirely!) and how quickly my body responded to the increased demand.

Maybe you don't have much money and can't support aid organizations in the usual manner. This is a way you could give. All it takes is a little extra time - the organization supplies the pump, the shipping supplies, and pays all shipping and processing costs.

There is something beautiful about being able to give, quite literally, of yourself to others. I would encourage any of my readers who are breastfeeding now or in the future to consider giving in this way.

5 comments:

Lettie said...

I think this is a great idea too, in theory, but then I read the article here:
http://thelactivist.blogspot.com/2007/05/is-international-breast-milk-project.html
It has raised questions, that I'm not quite sure how to answer. I'm not against doing it as long as you are informed.

Ashley said...

Lettie, Elena explained all the details that are present in your article in her post.

I don't think there is anything wrong with only 25% of the milk going to Africa. At least something is going to Africa and the rest is going to pre-term babies. Just because someone is making money off something that is donated doesn't mean that what they are doing is wrong.

Lettie said...

Ashley, I totally agree. I just think that if people don't realize that someone is making money off of their donation, they might be upset. I think Elena explained it great!

Emily said...

Yes, Prolacta is a for-profit organization. But I don't have a problem with that, because it is that very fact that makes it more possible for the milk to get to Africa.

Also, as good as it is for milk to be sent to Africa, I'd probably donate even if it was all going to Prolacta's research. Because I think it is important to develop ever better ways to help NICU babies, and that is what they're using the milk for.

In a capitalist society, the fact is that most of the best research happens when there is profit to be had. I'd rather have the good research than be picky about whether someone is being paid for it or not.

Amber said...

Wow, what an interesting idea! I agree with your sentiments in your last comment, Emily. I'm glad to see the research being done too. If my body would take to a pump I might consider doing it... it is definitely an intriguing idea!