Donating breast milk

Breast milk can be a precious commodity and in some cases nursingmoms have more than they can use so they are sending it to milk banks that inturn make sure it's safe and then send it on to newborns who desperately needit.

After the birth of Amy Johnson's daughter she started pumping alittle extra every day to stock up on breast milk so her daughter would haveenough when she returned to work. By the time that day arrived she had a hugestash, more than she needed so she decided to donate it to the Mother's MilkBank of North Texas, the closest one she could find to Arkansas.

Amy Johnson said, "So what I did was use that milk for her fordaycare and the milk I would pump during the week is what I would send todonate and I ended up being able to donate over 1600 ounces."

Donating is easy. The milk bank will ship donors a boxed coolerwith a prepaid shipping label. They will even send you containers to put yourmilk in or if you already have a freezer full of bagged milk youjust put in the cooler, pack it will dry ice and send it back to the milk bank.

The milk bank then pasteurizes the donation and ships it tohospitals in Texas and Arkansas like the NICU at UAMS and ArkansasChildren's Hospital. In some cases the milk is also sent directly tohomes to baby's who have been given a prescription for breast milk.

Johnson said, "I just felt like the mission of the milk bank wassomething I felt strongly about it. These are milk banks providing milk tobabies who are very sick and in some cases their lives depend on the milk and just felt good knowing my milk would go to help a baby who was reallyin need."

Dozens of Arkansasmothers like Amy have donated their precious supply in many cases helping savethe lives of not just one but several babies.

Johnson said, "It's like donating blood. You are giving the giftof life to a baby in need. That milk, for someone who was has worked very hardto make breastfeeding successful and who has worked very hard to pump that milkit's just good to see that milk go to someone who needs it. "

Donor moms are not paid for their breast milk but they arereimbursed for the cost of dry ice and given a pre-paid shipping label. A bloodtest is required to make sure the donor doesn't have a disease that can bepassed on through breast milk but the test is paid for by the milk sodonors don't have to pay a dime.

TheMother's Milk Bank of North Texas is hoping to have a drop off location in Little Rock in the near future to make it easier for Arkansas moms to donate.

Youcan find out more information about donating by clicking here.