You’d think you would have enough to deal with when you start breast feeding your precious new baby especially after going through the throes of labour & birth….but for some women not only are they willing to breast feed their own flesh and blood – these women are also expressing to feed premature babies in Neo-Natal units all over Ireland!
When I was first contacted by Selina who shared this information with me, I was so enlightened at the strength of women both physically and mentally. I was and still am in awe of them.
Irelands only milk bank – Sperrin Lakeland Milkbank is located in Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.
Once you’ve agreed to take part in this scheme, they send you (the donor) a starter pack of bottles , once full, they are refrigerated to cool and then frozen. As soon as the milk is expressed and ready to go they collect the bottles from you and then back at the milkbank they are tested for bacteria and pasteurised. The milk is then stored there awaiting distribution to Neo-Natal units around the country.
How amazing is that?
I only gave birth last year and from the beginning it was known to my midwife that I had planned on breast feeding, so why was I never told about this fantastic opportunity? Now as most of you know I didn’t breast feed for very long so I wouldn’t have been able to follow through even if I had of agreed to it, but I’ve been told that breast milk for these units is like liquid gold so it should be more well known and talked about.
Once you’ve sent your milk away it doesn’t just end there! The milk bank write back to you to let you know where the milk has been used and how you have helped save a baby’s life. These precious babies are getting the best possible start to life because of the donated breast milk. I can only imagine how rewarding that must feel for the donors.
Personally, I feel mothers who are on their second or more pregancy, would probably handle doing this better than a first time mother, just because I know what a shock to the system it was for me when I brought Olivia home for the first time, I wouldn’t have been able to handle expressing for another child too. But my God , am I impressed with this great scheme. If you can help it would be so amazing and worth the effort.
(Photo credit – Deborah Murray)
Link to an interview I did with Judy Bolger – Breastmilk Donor https://oliviasmotherblog.com/2014/06/03/a-quick-chat-with-judy-bolger-breastmilk-donor/