today, i packed up 200 ounces of my frozen breastmilk and gave it to a family in need.
after matt's cousin declined my offer of breastmilk for her preemie, i went back to thinking i'd just continue stock-piling my milk and figure out some way to use it. so one day when i was in the lactation room, i overheard the lactation consultant telling a new nicu mom that if she was having trouble pumping enough to feed her baby, she could always get donor milk from the milk bank. so after i finished pumping, i ran into the lactation consultant in the hallway and asked her about the milk bank. she told me to look into the human milk banking association of north america. you have to call your nearest milk bank (ohio, for me), go through a screening interview, and then complete an application, along with paperwork that gets signed by your physician and your pediatrician. if you get approved, they send you a cooler and you ship it to the milk bank, where they take care of donating it to someone. holy process, batman.
so then i remembered that one of the moms in the new mom support group that i went to while home on maternity leave had mentioned that she found recipient moms on a facebook group. so i googled "human milk" and found human milk 4 human babies. i found the pennsylvania facebook page, and posted that i had about 200oz to donate. within a few hours, i had a message from a local mom who was in need. she has twins and isn't able to keep up with their needs. we arranged for her husband to come by tonight to pick up the cooler.
i placed everything in an old styrofoam cooler, stacking them up with newest milk on the bottom, oldest on top. her husband dropped by our house tonight and picked up the cooler.
i have to tell you, it felt pretty awesome. i'm hoping that i can build up a big stash again and donate some more in the future!