All the photos you see throughout the Milkin’ Mamas site are past donor mamas and their babies…
Samantha Lucas – Pennsylvania Before my son was born I knew that I wanted to be able to give him breast milk so I did a ton of research on how to establish a good supply. I started out breast feeding and pumping and eventually transitioned to exclusively pumping when I returned to work, however I was still producing more than my son needed. When I found out that there was a program for milk donation I was very excited… “Challenge Accepted”. With the assistance of my husband, my sister, and parents I collected my extra milk for about a month and was able to get well over 300 ounces… “Challenge Accomplished”. Donating breast milk has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Thank you Milkin’ Mamas!
Maria Rebeaud – California As the mother of two children, a rambunctious little boy and a beautiful baby girl, I have been blessed with the ability to produce an over abundant supply of breast milk. I have been very consistent in feeding my babies and would pump out the “left overs” to freeze for the proverbial “rainy day”. Before I knew it I had so much milk in my freezer, my husband was thinking he married a dairy cow. I didn’t want to throw it away and knew there had to be a solution. That’s when I found Milkin’ Mamas. They made the donating process very easy and we’re always so helpful. I’m so happy that my milk is providing nourishment to some other beautiful angels out there.
Shelle Beltran – California God has put us on a journey that has taken us places we never knew we could go. In April of 2013, I found out I was pregnant. Big shock due to the fact that I religiously take birth control. We thought we were done having children but well, God had other plans. Two days later I ended up miscarrying. At that time I also found out they were twins. We barely were able to grasp the concept of being pregnant and then all of a sudden I’m not. It was emotional beyond belief. Well 3 months later we ended up pregnant again. OK God, you really have a plan for us that we never thought of. Everything seemed to be going good, our little girl measured fine on the ultrasound at 20 weeks, her heartbeat seemed great and everything. So at 30 weeks my doctor ordered another ultrasound to just check up on her and this is where our biggest part of the journey began. They found multiple abnormalities, we were shocked and confused. They wanted to do an amnio ASAP. I was SCARED. The next day I was admitted to L&D since I was so far along and doing an amnio now carried more risks. They told us what the possibilities were. We were preparing ourselves mentally for a disabled child. We weren’t sure what to even tell our other 2 kids who were 15 and 8 at the time. The amnio went fine , they drained ALOT of fluid from me as well due to my having WAY to much ( Zoey wasn’t swallowing the fluid like she should) So a few prayer filled days and multiple tests later, we found out that the worst case scenario was to be our reality. Our sweet Zoey had Trisomy 18, a genetic disorder that is “incompatible with life”. We cried, we prayed and we cried some more. I couldn’t look it up, didn’t want to. I knew that whatever was to happen, reading about it would just worry me more. I gave it all to God and He gave me incredible peace. No matter what was to happen we have this amazing miracle with us right now and we will enjoy every second. When she’s born we will go from there. We weren’t sure exactly the extent of her issues and wouldn’t know until she was born. We knew that we wanted to give her every chance possible. So at 37 weeks 6 days I was 100 miles from home at my moms for a bridal shower while hubby was still at home and my water broke. I mean I FLOODED my moms house, I went to the hospital with a beach towel between my legs- ya ALOT of water ! Well my cousin had to go pick up my husband, he was a wreck he couldn’t drive himself. I checked in at L&D at 6am. Zoey was born at 6:58 am. Emergency C section was in order. Zoey was lethargic and they worked on my tiny love while I watched and prayed from the operating table. To this day I am amazed at the peace God gave me, I was scared but not scared. I knew this was all God now. The Neonataligist told me that it didn’t look good for our Zoey. I told him please just make her comfortable and let daddy get here. They were amazing. My husband got there just as I was going from the OR to the NICU. We went to see her for the first time together. She was SOOOO tiny. 2lbs 1 ounce 19 3/4 inched long. She looked at me and cried the tiniest most precious cry and I knew… I couldn’t watch her live like this. Test came back her esophagus wasn’t connected to her stomach, she had 2 different spots of brain damage, a heart defect and looked like spina bifida. Poor baby just had to much going on. We knew we had to let her go on her own in His time. Her big sister and brother were there along with my mom, brothers, aunts, uncles and church family. My pastors came and were amazing and the love surrounding Zoey was the greatest blessing. God was so incredibly present. We got to love on Zoey for 6 1/2 hours before she returned to God while her big sister held her. It was sad and incredibly beautiful at the same time. The hospital was great, they allowed us to keep her with us for as long as we wanted. Everybody that came to visit got a chance to hold and love on Zoey. She touched so many people that day. We had so many people surrounding us constantly loving on me, my husband and the other 2 kids it was amazing. Letting her go that night was the hardest thing we’ve ever had to do. Two days later I was discharged and we got to hold our angel one last time. Her big brother needed to see her and love on her one last time it was a beautiful moment. Through all this they never mentioned engorgement or relief or options at all. So 4 days later my milk came in and I was in pain. I was secretly thinking maybe I could pump and donate. Wasn’t sure how my family would handle that though. Then my 15 year old daughter came up to me out of the blue and said hey mom why don’t you donate your milk? Well ok that was my sign, God told me loud and clear from the lips of my child. I called my doctor and asked how to get a pump, all while avoiding the fact that my baby had passed. Then finally while talking to a lactation nurse I told her I lost my baby but wanted to donate. She started crying. I didn’t know how powerful and touching my offer was, I just knew I had to be able to hold onto what I had left of Zoey. She left me with this amazing gift and I knew it could help/save other precious lives. I have been pumping for almost 3 months now (Zoey’s birth/heaven date just hit 3 months) and I am up to 55-60 ounces a day. I have been able to share with other local babies as well as 2 different milk banks now as well. I know there are places I personally could sell my milk and make some good money but my heart isn’t there. My heart is with NICU babies first and foremost and seeing the other babies that I have helped feed locally is a treasure all in itself. I am so glad, honored and blessed that Zoey is still touching lives and a part of her lives on.
Kendrea Ward – Kentucky After my little girl turned a year old and my goal of pumping for a year was achieved, I had so much breast milk left over. My little girl had always had fresh breast milk. I have been able to donate close to 2000 oz. It feels great to have been given this gift and support system to help me reach my goal and being able to help so many babies and families. Thanks to the ladies at Milkin Mamas for helping me with the donation process. This has been such a rewarding experience.
Natalie Webb – California I had a slow start with my first son and wound up exclusively pumping for him. Apparently I tricked my body into thinking I had more than one baby and built up quite a supply. I ended up donating to Milkin’ Mamas for several months until I got pregnant with #2 and my supply dwindled. This time around, I didn’t want to exclusively pump. Nursing started off great but my body must have remembered how much milk it made last time and decided I needed even more this time around. Now I exclusively nurse my son AND pump for Milkin’ Mamas. I feel blessed that I am able to provide for my baby and help others!
Kendra Zantingh – Illinois I returned to working full time after my first child was born in 2010. So, she ate everything that I pumped while at daycare. When my husband and I decided that I would resign and stay at home after my second baby, I knew that if I had the same supply as I did with my first, I’d have a lot of extra milk. I had heard about Milkin’ Mamas through a friend that donated her extra milk. So, I decided to give it a try. I am so thankful for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful program! Even though I’m now done donating, and nearing the end of nursing my little one, I still have a note taped to the inside of my bottle cupboard with my donor number on it. It’s a great reminder of the little babies that I was able to help! Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for all of the hard work that you do for such a great cause!
Jennifer Brown – Montana What an amazing program! I had a deep freezer full of milk that I thought was going to go down the drain. Luckily, a friend told me about Milkin’ Mamas and I jumped at the opportunity. My son Dylan and I are so happy that this milk is going to help other babies. I plan to utilize this program again when we have our second. Glad I was able to be a part of something like this!
Janeen Ernst – Delaware When I had my first baby 5+ years ago I thought that hey no problem I am going to breastfeed him and it will go totally smoothly. Well long story short it did not but what I discovered was that I could pump and at least give him breast milk that way. So for the next year pumping exclusively is what I did. I did not know about the ability to donate milk then and I wish I had. It breaks my heart now to think of the milk that I tossed that could have helped so many others. With my second child it was a totally different circumstance who nursed like a champ, however she and I ended up with every issue from breastfeeding that you can name and after four months of nursing and a week long hospital stay for me with a severe infection I had to give up nursing and put her on formula. So with my third, I decided before I had her that I was going to pump exclusively because I knew it worked, but I also wanted to be sure I found something to do with my surplus milk. A neighbor told me about Milkin’ Mamas and the great experience she had with them and the wonderful things that were being done with the donated milk. I am so thankful for the opportunity to help other families.
Jesa Leigh – New Mexico Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for giving us the opportunity to help others and donate our precious liquid gold. I am producing milk more than my lil man needs. With the upcoming move to Georgia from New Mexico I had no idea how to transport my over 600 oz of breast milk. Then hubby came up to an idea about donating breast milk to the milk bank and local mommas in need instead of throwing the breast milk in the trash. I researched through internet and I found Milkin’ Mamas. The process was so smooth and easy! Ms Keri and Ms Alice are very helpful too.
Nicole Woodman – Minnesota Being able to have a healthy child and to also be able to breastfeed her was amazing. She was a great nurser until I had to return to work when she was 4 months old. She wouldn’t even take my milk any more. With over 200 ounces left over I was able to donate to Milkin’ Mamas and help save premature babies! One of the best things I was able to do! Thank you!
Shanetta Davis – Illinois With all three boys, I have been blessed with an abundance of milk. Not until now did I know that such a program existed. I did research on where to donate milk and how to sell milk. The gratification in helping other babies in need to become healthy babies is indescribable. The process has been sweat less and pleasant from the very beginning. Dylan and I are elated to give so that babies live.
Elizabeth “Meg” Loeffler – Mississippi Donating milk to Milkin’ Mamas was such a wonderful experience that I am so thankful I was able to participate in. I am so glad that God enabled me to provide milk for not only my daughter, but also for so many other sweet babies!
Kendall Gaillard – Virginia I decided to donate because I was producing so much milk I was throwing it away. I was told I should look into donating which I did when my child was three months old. I never finished qualifying so I continued wasting. Finally after throwing two more groceries bags away I decided it was time to get it together and stop wasting all of this. I emailed Milkin’ Mamas and the process was super easy. I finally felt like I was doing the right thing with my extras and felt great that I was helping other babies with my milk.
Megan Van Poucke – Minnesota Hi mamas! My name is Megan. I was a first time mommy to my daughter, Eilee. I had no idea how breastfeeding would go for me but I knew I would give it my best shot. I was such a worry wart, I actually stocked up on formula before she was born! My daughter was born June 14th (after a long 18 hours of labor!). She took to my breast right away. I was so proud of her and myself! I nursed her for a little over a month (with lots and lots of tears shed over sore nipples) before deciding that I would attempt to pump. I was nervous to pump, I don’t know why but I did it. And I really liked it. I felt like I had more freedom and was able to accept help from my husband, Brian. Thus, leading me down the exclusive pumping route. In the beginning, I was pumping much more then she was consuming and I was able to get a very good freezer supply! She slept through the night almost immediately but I continued to get up at least once a night until she was 6 month old to pump. Now, I sleep!! Yes!! Eilee is now 11 months old. Happy to say, she has never had a drop of formula. Not only have I been able to supply breast milk to her for nearly a year and counting, I was able to donate to Milkin’ Mamas and several local women!! Over 1000 ounces! It’s not an easy ride, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. God Bless Mamas! Farewell Milkin’ Mamas (for now!). I sure hope when baby #2 arrives that we will meet again!!
Sarah Factor – Ohio After many breast feeding struggles and supply issues the first time around with my oldest child, I had been extremely relieved and happy with the ease at which my second son was taking to the feeding process after his birth in August 2013. Everything about it seemed to be working perfectly on his end and my end. And then… it all came to a crashing halt when, three weeks after he was born, I had to be re-hospitalized to be treated for MRSA. The only antibiotic known to clear up the strand of MRSA I had was not safe to take while breast feeding so, to my dismay, I had no choice but to stop nursing. I’d need to take the antibiotics for a minimum of three weeks, I was told, at which point I could try breast feeding my baby once again. Determined to keep my supply up in the hopes of going back to nursing once the MRSA cleared up, I started pumping (and dumping!) seven times a day, while feeding the baby formula. 840. That’s the number of ounces I dumped straight down the drain. Not that I was counting or anything. Oh the heartache! But I kept on pumping… and soon three weeks had passed and, thankfully, I was cleared by my doc to start nursing again. I was elated at the thought of putting the pump away for good. I was going to strictly breast feed, which I just knew (from my day dreams while pumping) would be much simpler and less time consuming. But then, no – that would have been far too easy. Because, as it turned out, my son had grew accustomed to the bottle and no longer had the patience – or the latch – to breast feed. And so, back to the pump I went. I soon discovered that a strange, but great, thing had occurred: all of my pumping over the three weeks in an effort to maintain my supply had actually grown my supply to double the amount of milk my son needed in a day. Wow. The part of me that worked so hard to grow my supply with my first son (to no avail!) was immediately eager to get started on my very own freezer stash. I spent the next several weeks stock piling my freezer with all the excess milk my son didn’t take in a day, all the while growing more fond of the pump I once resented so much. But then, yep – you guessed it – a new road block to remind me (in case I’d grown too comfortable) that breast feeding isn’t ever easy. We discovered my son had a sensitivity to dairy, which needed to be cut out of his diet – and mine – immediately. Well, alright, I can give up cheese for now, I thought. Perhaps it would even help me lose the baby weight. But, oh no(!!), what about all the milk I’d been saving in the freezer? Uggghhhhh. I was completely bummed. All of that milk, pumped over countless hours of my life – how could I put more of it down the drain? I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. And then a friend told me about donating milk, a concept I didn’t really know much about. I Googled “breast milk donation” and up popped the link to Milkin’ Mamas. I loved the thought of being able to give away my hard earned milk to babies in need. Learning about the premature babies who needed donor breast milk really put into perspective for me the seemingly mundane ups and downs I’d faced. So, I started with all the bags of previously saved milk and donated that. And I liked the idea so much, I decided to become an ongoing donor. It’s shed such a positive light on the entire process of pumping and feeding. I have four and half months of pumping left until my baby turns 1 and I wean him off of breast milk. Because of donating, I may really miss it once I’m done.
Erin Yilmaz – Kansas My twin sister had a baby before I did. She pumped exclusively and I remember her filling our deep freezer with her extra milk. The sad part was that it was all a waste, the baby never needed it and my twin didn’t know about Milkin’ Mamas. When I had my son, I also pumped exclusively and was making plenty of extra milk, so I researched what I could do with it, and that is when I found Milkin’ Mamas, and I am so glad I did! Not only do you get to help others, the process was very easy too! They do everything they can to make donating a pleasant and hassle-free experience. I was very impressed! Now I recommend Milkin’ Mamas to all the new moms I know!
Heather Frost – Texas This is my third child and with each child I had excess milk supply. My 2 previous children I would pump the extra and store it but a lot of it I had to dump because of it not getting used. I’m so glad that with my third child a nurse told me about Milkin’ Mamas and I wish I would of known that sooner because it’s such a good thing to do, knowing your milk can make a difference in a baby’s life. When I saw those pictures of the NICU babies and seeing the babies getting stronger with the donated breast milk I knew this was something I wanted to do and it feels so good knowing my milk will help a baby in need.
Sabrina Klinge – California I always knew I wanted to breastfeed and pump. I have learned that it is not for the faint of heart. There have been a number of night pumping sessions where I wanted to just quit. Luckily I stuck with it and was able to create a large supply. However, I ran out of room to store it and had to start dumping it. After researching online I found Milkin’ Mamas. I am thankful I was given an opportunity to donate my extra milk to help babies.
Pavani Vanam – Texas Both our kids were born premature and were in NICU for 19 and 13 days. I was there with both of them every day and started to exclusively pump for them. With my oldest son, I was filling up the freezer so I have decided to donate my extra milk. That is when I found out Milkin’ Mama’s who would help donate the milk to NICU babies. I immediately contacted Alice and Keri who made the process very easy for me. Now, with my second baby I know what to do with the extra milk. I have donated both to local mamas and also donating to Milkin’ Mamas. So far I have donated around 4000 ounces and counting. I am feeling very blessed and it is a fantastic feeling to know that you are doing this for babies in need.
Amanda Peel – Alaska I have always known I wanted a big family and that breastfeeding was the way to go. When my 1st was born, we had no luck getting her to latch. My milk came in, I was engorged, and in extreme pain but still determined to breastfeed. A nurse brought me a pump and showed me how to use it to help ease some discomfort while I continued to work on getting her to latch. 2 weeks later, I realized that trying for hours a day to get her to nurse was way too stressful for both of us so I gave up and decided to pump exclusively. Fast forward to today and I have successfully pumped exclusively with all of my children and am currently pumping for my 5th. I have an amazing supply and have always pumped way more than needed. I usually fill my freezer with a few hundred ounces and then taper my pumping down to only what baby needs. But this time I wanted to do some good with my excess milk. I looked into many options before I decided on Milkin’ Mamas and Prolacta. Helping preemies was a top priority for me and I wanted to be sure that’s who was receiving my milk. My twin nieces were born at 25 weeks and I was unable to travel to help support them and their family while they spent months in the NICU so, in a way, I am doing this for them. (They are happy, healthy 4 year olds today!) The ladies at Milkin’ Mamas have been amazing (and patient!) and made the whole process easy for me! I hope more mamas decide to donate their extra milk and also that more hospitals learn about Prolacta’s human milk fortifier and offer it as an option to parents of preemies because breast milk, no matter how it is given, is always the best option!
Janette Willis – Utah When I first found out I was pregnant I knew immediately that I fully intended on breastfeeding. Soon after giving birth to my Olivia Jane I was blessed with a surplus of breast milk. It got to the point it where my freezer was getting too full and I immediately knew that I wanted to share this blessing and donate to those in need. I got online and did a little bit of research and came across Milkin Mamas and their great donation program. I got in contact with Alice & Keri and let me just tell you they are two amazing women, they made the application process very easy. After my first donation I didn’t know if I would be a continuing donor, but after feeling so good about it I decided to become a continuing donor. I’m on my second donation and have donated a little over 1000 ounces and am filled with gratitude. I’m so grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to share this gift with my daughter Olivia and those premature babies in the NICU. It warms my heart to know that I’m helping heal the hearts of those mothers and I know in my heart those mothers are beyond thankful too. They live because we give. I’m grateful for Milkin Mamas allowing me to be a part of such a wonderful giving program thank you.
Shyjin Mackey – California I am so honored to have a chance to become a breast milk donor to help babies in need. Thanks to Alice and Keri, the application process sailed smoothly and I started to ship my breast milk. Two years ago around this time of the year, I was an overjoyed mother with my first child, Zoey. Very unfortunately, we lost her in April 2012 from SIDS. It was absolutely devastating for the entire family and my heart was shattered into pieces. A year later, we were blessed with another baby girl, Lily and she provided me an opportunity to become a breast milk donor in honor of her big sister. I am able to nurse her and still have a surplus of breast milk. With such a great blessing, we love to share this wonderful gift, especially with those precious babies in NICU. I know no mother deserves to suffer the pain of a loss of a child or seeing her child sick. I hope by giving back it helps save lives. Although I am not a super milker I believe every single drop counts. I am grateful to have found Milkin’ Mamas.
Anita Costa – Ohio While pregnant I had been asked if I would breast feed and I knew I wanted to for as long as possible. My son turned out to be a very good eater and I was blessed with a good supply. Around 6 months we decided it was best to switch to formula. Soon after, I stopped pumping but was left with a large supply already stored up that I knew I could not just throw away. I thought about it and looked around trying to figure out what I should do with the extra milk when I found Milkin’ Mamas. After reading about them I knew donating the milk was exactly what I wanted to do. I finished all the requirements and soon after my extra supply was shipped out to help those beautiful preemie babies. My son and I are so happy to know the milk that had been so beneficial in his growth was going to help tiny babies in need.
Vanessa Allen-Pierce – Ohio After trying to conceive our second child, my husband and I were thrilled to find out we were pregnant in Nov 2012. Devastation soon set in when we found out our little one no longer had a heartbeat. Knowing I couldn’t bear to loose another pregnancy we decided to wait for awhile. God had other plans for our family and in Feb 2013 we found out we were expecting again. Fear came knocking on our door yet again when I found out I had no cervix left at 27 weeks. Somehow our little angel stayed put until I was exactly 37 weeks and she was born 9/19/13. Only weighing 5lbs 14 oz, and borderline premature I was frightened she would not latch on. We are so thankful she did and we have had nothing but success with breastfeeding ever since. I am so happy to be able to share our milk with preemie babies who are in desperate need, just like Tenley almost was.
Michelle Vellenga – New York As a first time mother I fully intended on breastfeeding my daughter. When breastfeeding didn’t go as planned, I started exclusively pumping so I could still give my daughter breast milk. At first, I was so disappointed in having to exclusively pump in order to feed breast milk, but what a blessing in disguise it turned out to be. As I pumped I realized I had an abundance of milk so I started freezing it. Not knowing what to do with all of the extra milk, but not being able to throw away the milk that gave my daughter the best start, I researched and came across Prolacta and Milkin’ Mamas. I am thrilled to share this gift that God has given me with so many babies that desperately need it.
Angela Maguire – Florida When I first found out I was pregnant, I knew immediately that I wanted to breastfeed. I feel so blessed that I am able to provide this gift and share this experience with my daughter Lucy. It was clear from the very beginning that I was producing more than she would ever need. Our freezer filled to the point that we had to buy another one for the garage. After talking to many moms about their struggles I soon realized how lucky I was to breastfeed and I researched donating the milk. I have so much to be grateful for and wanted to give back to others who needed milk. Thank you for letting me help others!!!
Rachel Chu – California Since I was over producing for my little one (300+ oz the first month alone) I wanted to be able to help any other mothers I possibly could. I saw pictures on the Milkin’ Mamas and Baby Center website on how much preemies needed the milk and I can only imagine myself in those shoes. The process to become a donor looked overwhelming, but Milkin’ Mamas made it very easy and I hope other mothers with extra milk will consider donating.
Crystal Fatula – Pennsylvania When I had my son, I really had a difficult time getting him to breastfeed. He was losing weight and I was a nervous wreck because I knew he wasn’t getting enough to eat. I turned to my breast pump and started pumping bottles. I knew it was going to make it harder to get my little one to breastfeed but he needed fed and I wanted it to be from me. I hesitantly introduced the bottle and for eight long weeks tried to get him to breastfeed to no avail. So I started exclusively pumping. Little did I know what that first struggle would turn into. Soon, I had half of my chest freezer full of milk. So we got another chest freezer and I filled that too. I was pumping over 100 ounces of milk and freezing every unused drop. Once the second freezer was full, I knew I needed to do something. I had looked into milk donation before but wasn’t sure about the process and how much time would be involved. After about a week of tossing milk that wouldn’t fit into my freezers, I couldn’t take it anymore. How could I throw away something that could potentially help babies? So I looked over my donation choices online and decided to call Milkin’ Mamas. I’m so glad I did! The girls were so friendly and helpful which only solidified my decision to donate. The initial process was a breeze and after a few tests and a freezer check, I was on my way. I no longer felt like such a failure at breastfeeding because if I didn’t pump, I would not have accumulated all the extra milk to give. I won’t say that I didn’t face times that I wanted to quit pumping. I had mastitis four times, I faced going back to work and the long nights sometimes got to me. However, I kept at it for the benefit of my own little one and the babies I was given the chance to help. I never thought I would make it a full year. I hoped for four months, then six. I went back to teaching full time and decided I would pump at work since I only had five weeks until summer break. Then I made it through the summer, went back to work and before I knew it December was here and I had pumped for a full year. I only ever made it four months with my daughter so this was a huge success and I owe it partly to Milkin’ Mamas for the extra push to keep going. In the end, I was able to give my little guy breast milk exclusively for a full year and donate over 5,000 ounces to help babies.I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work with Milkin’ Mamas for my donation journey. I know that I will be suggesting Milkin’ Mamas to anyone who might be able to donate. Thank you Keri and Alice for the wonderful experience!
Courtney Tucker – North Carolina When I found out I was pregnant with my first child I decided that I wanted to breastfeed. I understood that it was not easy to get started and it was not for everyone. But I was determined! I went through some pains and infections at the beginning but I stuck with it and healed well. I was very dedicated to pumping excess and keeping up with the supply. I pumped at work and in the middle of the night when my baby was sleeping through the night. My friends thought I was crazy for loosing precious sleep but I knew I was pumping precious milk!. That year long experience paved the way for my second baby. When I had my second daughter it was a no brainer that I was going to breastfeed her for a year also. But it also was a very hard and painful start. I had an awesome lactation nurse I saw about 5 days post baby and she was so encouraging and helpful. I realized I started out too confident and I let the baby have a horrible and painful latch. Once the latch was fixed and I healed it was time to go back to work. I had already started the pumping process because my milk seemed to have doubled for this baby. I already had a freezer full before I even started back to work. I was able to pump at work and I did it 3 times during the work day. I was pumping more than she took in one day! I very quickly ran out of freezer room for any more milk to even be stored. That is when I started seeking a milk bank. I found a milk bank in North Carolina which is the state I live in. I went through the donation process and sent a cooler full for them. Then, a fellow breastfeeding mom sent me a link for Milkin’ Mamas. I was already in need to send some more out to more babies! So, I went through the whole process again. I was really impressed with the bank! It was an easy process at no cost to me. I was just anxious to help more babies. I have very healthy and plump babies and I could not wait to help preemies gain weight. I ended up donating one more time before I decided to wean my baby from the breast and use the rest of the freezer stash for her. I feel very fortunate to have such a good supply of such a wonderful substance. Like I told my family, some people can donate their blood. Well, I can donate my milk. And was thrilled about it. I am amazed at what the body can do from conception to breastfeeding. We have kept our babies alive with what our body has to offer! Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for the effort you put into being able to provide what is best for these precious babies.
Keely Baker – Oklahoma After a hard pregnancy and being told our baby boy had brittle bones (due to having a broken femur and multiple other breaks all over at 20 week scan) and most likely wouldn’t make it, I was crushed! But at 39 weeks we had a beautiful HEALTHY baby by c-section!!! He went strait to the NICU for tests and I started pumping in the recovery room! After over 20 x-rays we were told he only had a healed femur fracture!! At 3 days old he was released and my milk came in!! But he wouldn’t latch so I kept on pumping and I’ve been doing it for almost a year now!! By 4 months my deep freezer was over flowing!! So I did some research and found Milkin’ Mamas!! And I’m so happy they gave me the chance to help other babies!! It’s the best feeling in the world knowing I can give my baby the best and help others!! THANK YOU MILKIN’ MAMAS! And the only thing anyone could find wrong with my little man was he only developed 3 toes on that foot but, it has not slowed him down at all because he started walking at 9 months!!! We still don’t know how his leg broke but he’s happy and healthy!! That’s all the matters!!!”
Caroline Mercer – Pennsylvania Breastfeeding my son did not go well for various reasons and I ended up pumping since the night he was born. I was determined to give him breast milk and ultimately made the hard decision to pump exclusively. If I was going to be chained to my pump anyway, I wanted to make the most of it and looked into becoming a donor. Being able to provide milk to help other babies, helped ease the guilt and regret I had for pumping exclusively. Not only have I been able to provide my son with nourishment he has needed, but I like to think it will help save the life a NICU baby somewhere too.
Aubrey Howell – Utah I first found out about milk donation when my oldest was almost one. After I finished the process I donated about 250 ounces before she was weaned. With my second child, I decided I wanted to donate any extra milk right from the beginning. I had a cousin due about 6 weeks after I was but she ended up delivering about 9 weeks early. After visiting her tiny preemie and seeing the benefits of donated milk it only solidified my decision to donate with my baby. With my second child I had donated a total of 6,400 ounces of milk. When I was pregnant with my third child I heard about Milkin’ Mamas through a blog and decided to look into it since they specialized in providing for micro preemies. After I had my third child, I was getting ready to start the process of becoming a milk donor but discovered my sister in law who had her son 3 weeks before I did was having a very hard time producing milk for him. I offered to share my extra with her and so I was able to provide milk for my son and my nephew for a full year. After they were weaned off of breast milk I was still producing so I contacted Milkin’ Mamas to see if they would still be able to take my excess milk, and I was (thankfully) told yes. I was able to donate around 850 ounces with what I had left. I am so thankful that I have been blessed with the ability to share with others and also to be able to provide for my children. My kids are now 6, 3, and 17 months and I am so happy seeing the benefits they have reaped from being breast fed. I am definitely planning on donating if I have any more children and will spread the word on how wonderful donation can be. I feel privileged to have seen may different aspects of it, and am thankful that I have an amazing employer that worked with my needs to pump (working full time as a nursing mother can be hard without that support!) My husband has been an amazing source of strength and support, and he has always been my biggest cheerleader through everything. It definitely takes a lot of work and dedication, but I have been repaid tenfold in knowing that I have helped other babies in need of that precious nutrition.
Kathryn Walton – Florida The road to motherhood for me was not easy. I suffered multiple miscarriages and failed IVF treatments until we were finally blessed with our son. I heard from several girlfriends that breastfeeding was difficult and at times painful. Because my whole experience with getting pregnant and staying pregnant was a struggle, I assumed breastfeeding would be yet another challenge. I thought my experience would mirror those of my girlfriends. I was pleasantly surprised that nursing came easy and I had an abundant supply of milk. I started pumping a month prior to returning to work. Soon I realized I wouldn’t have room for storing any more breast milk. My son had plenty and continued nursing when we were together. I was so grateful to find Milkin’ Mamas. The process to become a donor was simple and hassle free. I have donated over 1,000 ounces and it feels amazing to know that all of those late nights pumping, sterilizing, labeling and freezing are being put to good use. To be able to help a family in need is very gratifying. I hope to have another child again one day in the future and plan to donate again. It has been such a wonderful experience.
Melissa Metz – Wisconsin Thank you for making it so easy for us to donate! We were blessed from the start with a healthy little girl, Allison, and once my supply kicked in we were blessed with more milk than she was able to consume. I knew after pumping almost more than 50 ounces a day, I would have a nice stockpile for our little one. Eventually, I ended up filling a freezer, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop and have enough milk to get our daughter past her first birthday. I knew I wanted to give it to families less fortunate than ours. So I did some checking and found Milkin’ Mamas. You guys made the donation process so easy!! I’m so happy I had the opportunity to give my milk to babies in need. Can’t wait to be a repeat donor when we decide to have our second child.
Kacy Tassone-Horton – North Carolina I’ve been on the other side and know how sensitive milk supply can be for a mom. I met and surpassed two goals of mine with my second born — everything that encompasses breastfeeding and now, donating that were unattainable due to various reasons when I first became a mother. Now, I get to share this healthy blessing with other mother’s and their babies. What a joy!
Jessica McCaslin – Illinois As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mother. Growing up, most girls want to grow up and be a doctor or an artist. For me, becoming a mother was a life-long dream. At 18 years old, I was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder. After years of steroids, chemotherapy, and countless surgeries, I found out that I would not be able to have children. I was immensely crushed. I luckily met my husband, Ryan, who was already a father to an amazing little man, Cole. I became the best step-mommy I could and had given up on my dream. In April 2012, I was amazed to find out I was pregnant with our little angel, Drew. Wanting to do only what was the very best for our baby, I knew that breastfeeding was not a choice. I would do it no matter what! However, after breast shields and lactation consultants, he would only latch to one breast. I had to pump the other. In order to make this easier for myself, I began exclusively pumping at 2 months. I was extremely dedicated to pumping so that he could get the best nutrition possible. Now, Drew is one year and I’m just now weaning. I was blessed to have an abundant supply for him and my freezer over flowed. Luckily, I found a way to help others with this blessing. Finding Milkin’ Mamas was such a relief. Knowing that not only could my breast milk give the nutrition to my baby boy, but also others helped me to stay the course with pumping for a year. I can’t tell you the joy it brings to me and my family knowing that my extra supply helps other babies in need. Thank you to Milkin’ Mamas for offering such an enriching program.
Carrie Mohr – Minnesota I gave birth to my first born daughter, Carlila, while in nursing school. As you can imagine, my days and nights consisted of nursing, pumping, and studying! I was blessed with a surplus of milk and after learning about all the many benefits of breast milk I just could not pour my extra milk down the drain. I am so thankful that I found, Milkin’ Mamas, and was able to donate my extra milk to the most vulnerable of us all. My daughter is a beautiful, healthy 8 month old and I am days away from graduating as an RN. Along with my nursing career, I would also love to be become a certified lactation consult so I can encourage and educate women about breastfeeding. Thank you, Milkin’ Mamas, for providing a safe way to donate one of God’s ultimate gifts!
Emily Becker-Weidman – New York My daughter was born 5 weeks early. Luckily she was healthy, but had to stay in the NICU for a few weeks to gain weight before we were able to bring her home. It was hard not being able to bring her home and pumping milk was one way I felt like I could take care of her. I started pumping right away to build my supply and make sure when she was ready to eat on her own there would be plenty of milk for her. I think I tricked my body into thinking I had given birth to twins and right away was producing more than double what she was consuming. After 3 weeks she came home and a few weeks later became a pro on the breast. I had to continue pumping for my excess and hated the idea of throwing out the extra once our freezer was packed to the brim. A nurse told me about the possibility of donating and I was happy to find Milkin’ Mamas and help other babies like my Ella. My daughter is thriving and I hope other babies can also benefit from my milk.
Jennifer Tejeda – California I had an emergency c-section with my first son and then developed a cough in the hospital which left me in excruciating pain and just made it so hard to stay awake long enough to breastfeed. So breastfeeding and pumping didn’t work out as well as I had wanted, it went for a while but it was a struggle just to make enough for him to eat for the day. This time, with my second son I was determined to make it work! No c-section, yay, and was breast feeding minutes after he was born, so magical! Anyway, from the start I had an abundance of breast milk; I was getting 12oz every time I pumped which was 9 times a day and even had to buy a chest freezer. Within weeks it was full!! I forget who said I should donate my milk, but I looked it up and you guys were the first ones to come up. It feels so good to be able to donate my extra milk, I really hated having to poor it down the sink. I’ve been able to donate almost 3 thousand ounces, and wish I could do more. If I should have another baby and am lucky to have the same plentiful amount, you guys are first on my list to get it! Thank you for starting this organization, all the NICU babies are so lucky to have you!
Danielle Cosgrove – Florida The only thing I ever wanted…. was to be a mom. Our smiley boy was born June 12, 2013. He had some trouble getting started with breast feeding so I jumped on the pumping wagon right away. He was able to take the breast milk in a bottle till he got the hang of it. He is now a milk junkie! My husband gets a big shout out for keeping me on track when I wanted to quit. It wasn’t easy having to pump religiously. I pretty much tricked my body into thinking I had twins. Even at 5 months, he can’t keep up with my supply. My deep freezer filled quickly and I was able to donate half my stash at 5oooz. I’m a very lucky lady!! It warms my heart to know someone can benefit from my excess milk. Thanks Milkin’ Mamas!
Tanya Schuettpelz - Wisconsin I am a Pediatric and an OB nurse and know how important breast milk is for babies. I enjoy helping others and donating my breast milk is a very simple and highly rewarding way to help those who are most vulnerable and unable to ask for help themselves. I am very fortunate and blessed with a beautiful and healthy family and would like to help someone else out in achieving this goal as well. I feel that the gift of breast milk has an immeasurable and priceless benefit to me, my children and the babies who receive it.
Ann Maletsky – Pennsylvania I am so blessed to have been able to donate my excess milk to NICU babies. When breastfeeding my son, 5 years ago, I had an overabundance of milk. I started researching what I could do with my excess milk and soon learned I could donate! After a blood draw and the application process were completed, I was accepted as a milk donor for NICU babies. I was thrilled! So when my beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, was born on December 19, 2012 I knew I would make donation part of my plan. Though Elizabeth is 100% bottle free I still pumped everyday to build up my supply. Through dedication and the support of my wonderful husband, I was able to donate 7 gallons of breast milk to NICU babies in need! I’m one proud mama! Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for making donating such a simple process!
Tiffanie Whitty – Maryland We were blessed to learn we were having our first child. I always knew I wanted to breastfeed but wasn’t sure what would happen. On September 12, 2012, the best gift entered our world, a beautiful baby boy. He did a great latch at the hospital but when we got home was a whole different story so I started to pump. He never returned to nursing but I wanted him to have the best start I could give so I pumped and did it often. I started over packing our freezer and wasn’t sure what to do accept throw it away. Later I looking into giving it to a hospital but I was apprehensive about just handing it over. Then I found Milkin’ Mamas and loved all the precautions they take for accepting and knowing not only will it help little ones but VERY special ones. If we are blessed in the future, I know I will start donating a lot earlier and I have already spread the word to my pregnant friends and a note my OB/GYN office. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to easily give to others.
Angelica Guzman – Indiana I’m a first time mother to my handsome little man, Marcos I. Ortega Jr. He is now 1 year and has been exclusively breastfed since before coming home after his 98 days stay in the hospital. Two weeks after I graduated college I found out I was pregnant!! I loved everything about being pregnant. Unfortunately, I was only able to carry Marcos Jr. for 26.5 weeks resulting from an incompetent cervix. I was fully dilated and had to have an emergency cesarean October 16, 2012. Marcos Jr. weighed only 990grams (2lbs. 2 oz). By the end of the first week I was already producing 4 ounces from each breast. Nurses would jokingly tell me I had enough breast milk in the freezers to feed the entire NICU. They had to start sending me home with my breast milk that I pumped in the NICU. My huge chest freezer was full and my family members had a stash as well. My family couldn’t have been any happier to get their freezers back when I found Milkin’ Mamas to donate to! I was extremely lucky to bring my 26.5 week premature baby home exclusively breastfed. I worked hard for what I truly wanted and knew what was best for him and me. I decided to stop pumping and regulate my supply for only Marcos Jr. after 7.5 months. Marcos Jr. smiled at me when I asked for his approval to donate his breast milk. I love that I can help other premature babies just as much as I am helping my son. My baby is now 20 lbs., extremely healthy, and crawling around getting into everything making me run after him. I LOVE IT!! Thank you Milkin’ Mamas!!
Toya Cho – California On March 1, 2013 my beautiful daughter Madison Riley Cam was born. My husband and I had fertility issues and had been trying to have a baby for many years. Finally we did IVF and thank GOD it worked first try. We were so happy and blessed. We had waited so long to meet her so it was extra special when she arrived. Madison latched on right away and I had no issues so I was super excited about breastfeeding. In fact, I had over supply because I started to pump to increase my supply. I started to store it in my freezer but it became so much that I decided that i should donate. One night I was searching online and I came across Milkin’ Mamas. After I read that the milk would go to NICU babies I was in 1000%. These babies hit home for me because my best friend Grace had her baby at 27 weeks. He was in NICU for 3 months. He almost didn’t make it but he was a fighter. After heart surgery and all sorts of other complications he pulled through. His name is Nathan and he is now a healthy and strong 7 year old kid. So I knew this was the place I wanted to donate. It made me feel good that my milk would help these babies. I’m so happy I did and I plan on donating again on baby number 2!!
Emily Girard – Washington I feel so blessed to be able to donate my excess milk for the second time. With my first daughter, becoming a donor was kind of an afterthought. I had a freezer full of milk after she weaned that I didn’t want to go to waste. The second time around, I planned from the beginning to donate all my extra milk and have maintained a pumping and nursing schedule that will allow me to freeze down on average 20 oz a week. 5 ounces at a time, I have been able to donate almost 1000 oz in the past 10 months. I am so please to be able to share my milk with babies in need and am thankful to my employer and my family (they know who they are) for supporting me.
Neelo Ali – North Carolina I gave birth to my son in June of 2012 and had decided that I was going to breastfeed. I had an unplanned C-section and was torn with no milk for up to 5 days and I had to sadly give my son formula. As soon as my milk came in, my first 8 weeks were horrific with having difficulties with latch on. Once we got over that obstacle and had a routine down for feeding and pumping, it became the most beautiful and memorable experience I will never forget. I traveled a lot during my nursing experience. After 2 months I went to visit my parents in Texas and had built up quite a stash while I was there that could not travel with me so I found Milkin’ Mamas and decided that I could not let this hard work and liquid gold go to waste. Alice and Keri have been very helpful with this process and I feel honored for being able to donate numerous times throughout my 15 month nursing journey! Breastfeeding is a blessing and donating is an even bigger one! I definitely plan to do it again in the future!
Jill Lepp – Georgia My first child Carter was born four weeks premature due to him and I measuring small. He weighed 4lbs and 8oz. At my pediatrician’s suggestion, I breastfed, pumped, and then gave him a bottle to help him gain weight. He started to gain weight, but with him being born so small I was worried that he wasn’t big enough so I continued to pump after every feeding. In doing so, I created such a surplus of milk that we had to buy a deep freezer to store the milk in! The freezer quickly filled up with all the breast milk I had planned on giving my son later in a bottle. However, he decided he didn’t want to drink from a bottle, he would only drink from the breast. I continued to pump milk anyways creating even more of a surplus. My husband then got a job opportunity in Georgia which caused us to move from Ohio. I was worried about how I was going to transport the extra milk to Georgia with out ruining it. Then I thought why I am trying to take it with me when he won’t drink it anyways. I didn’t want to throw it away and waste it. All the work and sleep I missed pumping it would have been a such a waste! I wasn’t sure what to do with it and my sister suggested donating it. After doing research online, I came across Milkin’ Mamas and found the perfect place to donate my milk. Thank you so much for helping me help others!
Amanda Todd-Andrews – Illinois When I had my third child I starting producing much more milk than he needed and pretty soon I had an entire deep freeze full. I knew there had to be someone who could benefit from all that milk. With the help of my locate lactation consulate I found Milkin’ Mamas. I’m so thankful all that milk could go to help hopefully many babies and the process was very simple. Milkin’ Mamas made getting all the requirements done very easy which is great for a busy mother of three and a daycare provider!
Leslie Berry – Tennessee When my daughter started refusing expressed breast milk at 8 months old, I didn’t know what to do with my frozen stash. Pouring hundreds of ounces of liquid gold down the drain simply was not an option! While researching how to sell or donate my breast milk, I learned about the fascinating products made from human breast milk at Prolacta Bioscience. I decided donation was the best choice for me. I am delighted that Jenna and I could do something to help increase the chance of survival of premature, critically ill and low birth weight infants. Thank you, Milkin’ Mamas, for making this possible!
Yekaterina Zabolotskaya – Oregon My second son Petr was born on September 28th 2012. The first three days after his birth was heartbreaking for me because I couldn’t produce any milk at all and for three days had to give him formula. On the forth day, I got 1/4 of an ounce when I pumped. I was so excited and very determined to breastfeed my son. So from early morning to late afternoon, we both fought for what we wanted…him wanting a bottle and no breast and me wanting him to only take the breast. So at the end of the day, I won and he finally latched on. From then on, he fed very well and in addition I pumped every 1.5 hours. I started producing so much that we had to get a chest freezer and in 6 months it was nearly full. I knew that Petr couldn’t drink everything and was looking for someone to give it to. Luckily, my sister had the same problem but worse so she did a lot of research and found Milkin’ Mamas. Now we are both truly grateful that we don’t have to throw away our precious milk and in the process help little babies. Thank you so much Milkin’ Mamas for this great experience.
Jessica Landa – California In my 7th month of pregnancy, Giuliana was diagnosed with COA (coarctation of the aorta) which is the narrowing of the major artery leading out the heart and with BAV (bicuspid aortic valve). This valve normally has 3 small flaps that allow blood to flow out from the heart preventing blood from flowing backwards into the heart which they said she only had 2 flaps and lastly her heart was two different sizes due to the narrowing!!! With all that, they said she was to have open heart surgery when she was born!! This was just unbelievable!! So I spent my last 2 months going to the doctors 3-4 times a week for heart monitoring and ultrasounds, so scared this whole time. We went to 3 different doctors, they all said the same about her conditions so we tried to fully prepare as much as we could for this road ahead of us. April 30th at 2:58pm Giuliana Alexa blessed us with her arrival!! They placed her on my tummy and as they cleaned her up I was able to kiss and hug her with her big brown eyes looking at me, she looked normal and healthy!! Then they had to take her to the NICU to start examining her and do an ultrasound of her heart to finalize on how and what needed to be done!! After about 45 minutes of this nerve wracking exam, the doctor turned to us and said her heart is completely NORMAL and HEALTHY!!!! Me and my husband looked at each other and cried tears of joy! God blessed our family with this miracle!!! Thanks to all our family and friend’s prayers, god heard us all!!! After 3 days in the hospital we got to go home and be the family we wishes for. So as the first weeks went by, my milk was coming in more and more to the point I was running out of room in the freezer so I researched what you could do and there was an option to either to sell it or donate it. Right away I thought OMG, I can donate it as a way to give back and thank god for his blessing!! So that’s why I’m here writing you today, thanking you guys for the support of being able to do this for the sick babies!! I hope to be able to continue to donate as long as my milk supply allows me.
Heidi Strobel – Indiana Milkin’ Mamas was an unexpected blessing in my life. During my pregnancy I knew I wanted to breastfeed but I did not know much about it. Once I made up my mind, I started reading breastfeeding books and talking to anyone that had nursing experience. Believe me I mean anyone, I would ask women in the aisle of the grocery if they nursed and if they replied “yes” I proceed to ask them a million questions. By the end of my pregnancy I was almost paranoid about being a failure as a nursing mom. My sweet Piper was born almost a month early by emergency c-section. To our surprise she was seemingly healthy and nursed within 30 minutes of being born. She latched right on and the rest is history. Once I knew Piper was nursing well I started pumping. Within a couple months I had about 500 ounces in my freezer. My sister gave birth a couple months later and to her disappointment she was unable to breastfeed. My nephew was allergic to formula and had horrible reflux. I offered my pumped breast milk. Between nursing Piper and pumping for Walker I was over producing. Walker and Piper had plenty of milk so I started to wonder who else could benefit from my milk, that is when I found Milkin’ Mamas. Milkin’ Mamas has been a blessing in my life. It allows me to give to others and share something that has been and continues to be a blessing in our life. I am done pumping but Piper and I are continuing our breastfeeding relationship (14 months and still going strong). Thanks Milkin’ Mamas for allowing me to be a part of something bigger than myself.
Julie Dingeldein – Iowa When I was 33 weeks pregnant with our second born, Noah, I went into preterm labor. After one very long week in the hospital, they stopped my labor and I was able to go home. Then, not only did I go full-term, but Noah came 3 days overdue! I know that others do not always have the outcome that we were blessed to have. While in the hospital, one of the doctors from the NICU informed us what the realities of having a baby at 33 weeks might mean. He told us that Noah probably would not be able to nurse, and that they would have to look at using donor milk. I had no idea that donor milk could be used to help preemies and, being very disappointed that I might not be able to nurse Noah right away, I thought that was pretty awesome. Then, after Noah’s birth, I found Milkin’ Mamas online and thought it would be a great way that I could help someone out who was in a similar situation that we were almost in.
Christina Robbins – North Carolina My beautiful baby boy was born on the 18th of July 2012 at a healthy 8 pounds 10 ounces! Hunter has been the most amazing baby that we could have asked for. I was determined to succeed in breastfeeding. To my luck, he quickly took to it! I also started pumping shortly after he was born, hoping that I would be able to produce enough to last at least a year. I began over producing. I refused to waste the milk by pouring it down the drain. So to my husband’s disliking, I quickly filled up one deep freezer and started on a second. Knowing that my son would not drink all the ‘liquid gold’ I was producing, I began looking around for ways to put it to good use. I found a Milkin’ Mamas magnet that I received from one of my prenatal classes and decided to donate my extra milk to their good cause! I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of this organization, aiding in the growth and development of the NICU babies. Thank you Alice and Keri for running this wonderful program and dealing with my ten million questions!
Galina Lagoda – Washington My son, Jeremiah, was born December 1st of 2012! He was a very healthy big boy coming in around 8.9 pounds. From the start he latched on very good and smoothly that I didn’t go to bottle, but with such an abundant supply of milk I would pump out all the extra because I was pumping about 70 extra ounces per day! And that’s the thing we both struggled with, was the overflow of the milk where he couldn’t keep up with it so pumping was a lifesaver for the both of us. Why I decided on donating the milk, well I just felt so bad to pour it out and with two freezers packed and absolutely no space at all, I was running out of options. So I heard of some moms that need breastmilk and that helped lots but my freezer filled up very quickly again until I came across an ad about donating it. I’m so glad to know that the 5238 ounces that I have already donated give life to babies that couldn’t survive without it!
Frances McQueen – California Breast feeding my first daughter resulted in 4 cases of mastitis within a nine month period. When my second daughter was born, I was determined to prevent run ins with clogged ducts and mastitis so I pumped and massaged morning and evening. I was a stay at home mom so was available to feed my baby girl from the breast anytime her little heart desired so my supply of frozen milk was growing! Just before I was about to throw it all out, I did a quick search and found a wonderful program that supplied human milk to babies that desperately need it. It brought tears to my eyes to think that I could really make a difference so I signed up to become a Milkin’ Mama! My baby is now one so my donating days are done………for now. I know exactly where to go if I find my freezer full of milk and I send my friends to the same place. Thank you, Milkin’ Mamas!
Joyce Osuga – Virginia I gave birth to my second daughter on January 25th. From the start, I was overproducing milk more than my little girl could drink; my freezer was filling up quickly. With my first child, I had mastitis on both breasts because I was not pumping as often as I should have been for my overproduction. This time around, I was careful to pump regularly as not to make the same painful mistake. By 2 months, there was over 500 oz. of frozen milk in my freezer. I started researching what I could do with my excess milk and came across the Milkin’ Mamas website. After a blood draw and the application process was completed, I was accepted as a milk donor for NICU babies. More than words can explain, I am honored to be able to supply nutrients to NICU babies. Fiona is now 5 months, weighs in at a healthy 16 lbs. and is very happy to share milk with babies in need. Thank you to Milkin’ Mamas for making this rewarding experience an easy process!
Casey Glassburner – Nebraska After my daughter, Reagan, was born in 2009 we struggled to try to teach her how to latch. She screamed and would bite and then I would pump and we would feed her with a syringe to try to avoid nipple confusion. I was a wreck as a first time mom, just wanting to be able to feed my daughter. After a week of tears on both our parts, I finally consulted the lactation consultant at her pediatrician’s office to see if pumping and feeding exclusively with bottles was an option. In breastfeeding classes I attended, they spoke that it was not possible to pump and feed only with bottles. That there was no way that the pump would stimulate enough milk production. She said of course and from then on we fed her by pumping and feeding with a bottle. The crying stopped on both our parts and I was able to feed her for a year this way and was able to donate over 3000 oz to a milk bank in Denver too! When my son, Emerson, was born in June 2012, I didn’t even want to try to feed him any way except through pumping and feeding with bottles due to the horrible experience I had with my daughter. Thankfully my milk production was as abundant as it was with my daughter and again I was able to feed him through pumping and feeding with bottles for a year and had extra to donate as well. I want all women out there to know that you can still breastfeed your child even if you have to find a way different from the traditional method. I was impressed with the donation process through Milkin’ Mamas compared to the milk bank I had donated to before. Scheduling the blood draws at home was so convenient, especially with a newborn. Also not having to worry about finding dry ice to ship with the milk or finding a shipping company that would ship was a life saver. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to help others. I was blessed to be able to provide my children with this gift and was blessed again to be able to share it with others. Thank you Milkin’ Mamas!
Andrea Gilbert – Texas After our son Drake was born, he was swooped off to NICU and bottle-fed. This definitely made my experience a bit more challenging. Pumping and bottlefeeding became our process and before I knew it the freezer was full and we had to buy more and more breast milk storage containers. The larger the better. I was pumping every 3-4 hours and sometimes I was even collecting 600ml (20 oz). My freezer was full all of the time and I kept thinking that anyday from then little Drake would start devouring the milk at a rapid pace and catch up to my supply. He never did. We were having to discard of milk due to the limited size of our freezer… Luckily, I came across the Milkin’ Mamas website. I definitely liked the detailed review process to become a donor and I told Drake that we were going to share his milk with sick babies who needed milk. I love the idea of sharing love and health with babies in need. My mother stays with us during the week to care for Drake and the days when we prepared our coolers were always a fun, team exercise. My mother would hand me the frozen bags, I would call out the amount and my husband would tally it all up. It was such a bonding experience and made us all feel good about sharing the milk. If we are in a position again where we can share the milk, we will definitely team up and do it again.
Lauren Onley – Idaho When my son was born my milk came in very quickly, before I even left the hospital. I had a TON of it. I had such an oversupply that I had to pump 3 times a day just to make it easy for my son to breastfeed since my son wouldn’t take a bottle at all. I was pumping an extra 20-30 ounces a day and I quickly was filling up my freezer and wondering what I was going to do with all this milk. I really hated the thought of throwing something so important away so I was giving my two year old some of the pumped milk but that still wasn’t making a dent in what I had. I happened to notice a magnet that the hospital I gave birth at had given me and I looked up the Milkin’ Mamas website. After reading how easy it is to become a donor, I decided to apply and after that everything was very quick. It was such an easy process for a great cause. After my experience with Milkin’ Mamas, I recommend them to all my friends that I know are having babies and will be breast feeding. Now that I have gotten my supply controlled, I am done donating, but I know I will definitely be donating again in the future!
Kristen Dannahey – Connecticut My daughter, Caedence was born in October of 2011 completely unexpectedly 2 months early following a placental abruption. I was planning on breastfeeding Caedence, but she was too premature to do that so I started pumping since breast milk is so important for preemies- as I’m sure you know! I was blessed to have a full milk supply and then some ready for my baby, but she never learned to feed at breast so I just kept pumping thinking that I would dry up at any time. I had been told that it was only possible to exclusively pump for 3 months- but no longer. Well, three months turned into six and I knew that I could keep this going. I preferred to feed fresh breast milk so I accumulated quite a bit in the freezer that I started donating. I thought it would just be amazing if I could make it to a year so my baby would never need to drink formula and as I approached that year mark I knew neither one of us was ready to wean yet and I would LOVE to be able to continue to provide her with breast milk until at least her 2nd birthday. Now that she is 19 months old, it’s looking like this is certainly going to be a reality. Exclusively pumping hasn’t been an easy path for us, but we’ve managed to make it through her 23 days in the NICU, thrush infections, and even surgery to remove two of my ribs! While I would have preferred to have been able to feed at breast, I think of it as a blessing in disguise. I’ve been able to help other babies with the excess milk- donating is so rewarding. I truly hope that my milk helps other babies in the NICU grow faster, stronger, and healthier. May all of them have a swift and uneventful NICU stay!
Jessica Barron – California Joaquin was born preterm and had trouble latching from day one. While in the hospital the nurses and lactation consultants were great in coaching us and having me pump to build up my milk supply. By the time it came for us to go home, Joaquin still hadn’t latched so we were sent home with all sorts of accessories to try. We soon realized that he was not having any fun trying to nurse so we switched to bottle feeding him my breast milk and he loved it! Although I was a little saddened that I was not able to nurse my little baby boy, I took great comfort in knowing that he was receiving my breast milk and that was all the motivation I ever needed. I continue to exclusively pump and bottle feed and I am glad that my husband can partake in the joy of feeding Joaquin, plus we each get to stare down at those big beautiful eyes and contagious smile while doing so. When Joaquin was a couple weeks old I found out about Milkin’ Mamas and knew immediately that I wanted to donate my excess “liquid gold”; little did I know I would be such a milk factory and that I would have so much! I appreciated the personal attention I received during the donor qualification process and I love the human feel I get every time I contact Milkin’ Mamas. Thank you Alice and Keri for the work that you do.
Chung-Wen Wang – CaliforniaI wasn’t producing enough milk for my baby girl after giving birth so I started pumping to stimulate more milk production. However, before I knew it, I was becoming a milk factory. I ended up with so many frozen milk that I ran out of space in my freezer and deep freezer. I was sad having to throw them out knowing that many people cannot provide breastmilk for their baby for various reasons. I started researching online for what to do with leftover breastmilk and came across Milkin’ Mamas. I was very impressed with the extensive process that you have to go through to become a qualified donor. It made me feel comfortable knowing that besides providing much needed breastmilk to babies in need, they take quality assurance seriously to provide safe milk. My baby just hit her 9 months’ mark and is a healthy and happy 20 pound girl. I’m happy that in the process of raising her, I’m helping out other families in need.
Tammy Nachazel – IowaI’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to work with Milkin’ Mamas and I hope to again when we decide to expand our family. Before I became pregnant I knew I wanted breastfeed and I was going to do everything I could to give my baby the best I could. I heard TONS of stories about how moms couldn’t produce enough or milk or any at all and how painful it is! With that in mind I was more that determined I was going to breastfeed and I wasn’t going to BUY something that I could make MYSELF and how easy is it to feed a baby in the middle of the night without making a bottle! It did hurt the first few weeks but I wouldn’t change it for ANYTHING. I am thankful to be able to save a TON of money on formula and have a very supportive family so I only have to work part time and spend more time with my family. My daughter Ella is such a blessing to our family! I have donated approx 1550 oz! I never imagined being able to be part of such a great experience.
Shannon Rathke – Wisconsin Nursing is one of my favorite parts of having a baby! I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but I am so thankful that someone invented the breast pump so that I could continue nursing and providing breast milk for all three of my children when I went back to work. Charlie (our youngest, just over a year old now) seemed to want to wait it out during the day for me to come home and feed him-he is quite determined-ha! This meant that most of the milk that I pumped at work went into the freezer and didn’t come back out. I am thankful to have found Milkin’ Mamas so that I could donate my extra milk to premature infants in need.
Natalie Webb – California I knew while I was still in the hospital after the birth of my son, Jackson, that he was not getting enough when I nursed him. I kept telling the nurses that I thought he was starving and they all kept telling me a few drops was enough. The night we brought him home from the hospital was a nightmare! He screamed all night! He was starving! I decided that I was going to begin pumping to stimulate my milk production…little did I know that I was going to quickly become a dairy farm! Once I had outgrown 3 freezers, I knew I had to find something to do with all my milk! After Googling milk banks, I chose Milkin’ Mamas and became a qualified donor. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my milk with babies around the United States. I feel so blessed to have a wonderful, healthy baby and I wish that feeling for every mom. I can’t even imagine how scary it must be to have your child in the NICU. If my small gesture of donating my milk makes those parents feel a little better, or takes some stress off of a struggling new mama, then it is worth it to me.
Alyne Jones – Texas I did not find out about Milkin’ Mamas until my fourth child was born. We have been blessed with 4 healthy children and I was able to exclusively breastfeed all of them well until each had turned one. I always had an abundant supply and pumped just in case I ever had to be away from any of my children. I would cringe when I would throw away unused milk. Then someone told me about Milkin’ Mamas. Right away I signed up, wanting my extra milk to go to a good cause. I was so impressed by Alice and Keri and their labor of love and so grateful that I could help in this small way. I only wish I had known about this wonderful organization 4 babies ago. Many blessings to all.
Alma Gomez – Florida When I was 35 weeks pregnant I was diagnosed with preeclampsia, I was scared because Sarah was going to be premature and my OB/GYN had told me her lungs might not be developed. When Sarah was born on June 1st 2012 she was a healthy 6lbs 1oz and 20 inches long. The only problems were that she was too weak to latch on and my nipples are inverted. At that point I was frustrated because I wanted to breastfeed and didn’t know what to do. Next day the lactation consultant came to my room and told me about the pumps and she said that if I follow her instructions Sarah was going to be able to drink my milk and maybe latch on. My sister rented the pump for me and I started pumping around the clock with my sister’s help and support. At the beginning my production was so poor that I had to mixed it up with formula. I didn’t give up!!! By the time Sarah was 4 months we had to buy another freezer and I was producing 80-90 oz of milk a day. My family and friends used to make fun of me saying Sarah was going to call me “moo” instead of “ma”. Sarah is now 10 months and is the healthiest baby ever, she has never had a cold, cough, fever, nothing at all thank to The Lord God! For moms out there, don’t give up! If you bring a child to the world, be prepare to give them the best, BREASTFEED!!!!
Sara Cruz – California This is my beautiful daughter Evangeline. When my twins were born extremely premature at 1lb 7oz and 1lb 6oz, I pumped everyday, every 3 hours, hoping and praying for both of my babies to come home. But God had other plans for my son. He was here with us for 14 days and my daughter spent a total of 95 days in the NICU. And as I continued to pump for my daughter I realized I had been blessed with extra breast milk. I wanted to share it with other premature babies so they can have a better chance of surviving while being in the NICU, in memory of my beloved son. I am happy to share today that my baby girl is 8lbs 6oz 21in long. She is the most precious gift of life. She came home with no restrictions, no meds and NO oxygen. She’s my all day sunshine!! Sara’s daughter received the Prolacta Human Milk fortifier in the NICU. Thank you Sara for giving your extra milk in honor of your precious son!
Michele Zamenski – Maryland I nursed my son for 11 months, but struggled with supply from about 8 months on, I knew when I got pregnant with my daughter I did not want to face those issues again. So, while I was off on maternity leave I would pump between feedings and I would get up in the middle of the night to pump to build my freezer stash. But the time I returned to work, I felt comfortable knowing that if I did have supply issues, I had enough to hopefully get me close to my 1 year goal. As I continued to pump at work, I realized I was making more than enough for Haley’s bottles and that I had to do something with my stash. I absolutely could NOT throw it away, it was too precious! My best friend, who has a daughter 5 weeks older than mine, told me that she was going to donate her milk. I looked into Milkin’ Mamas and thought it would be a good thing to do. But I just had a hard time letting go of my milk, I always worried “what if…” but my family needed the freezer space for food, not just breastmilk. So I decided to start the process of donating. Milkin’ Mamas made the process so easy and always answered all my questions, and always very friendly. It was hard to mail away 350oz of milk that I worked so hard to keep, but it made the decision easier knowing that my milk would help other tiny babies grown strong. After I sent my milk away, I received an email saying that my milk had been accepted and it literally brought a tear to my eye knowing that I could help a tiny, precious gift from God. Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for all of your hard work, it was great to work with you!
Smita Mistry - California THANK YOU for this wonderful opportunity, an opportunity of a lifetime. This donation was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. The process was simple yet thorough lending it great credibility. I can’t express in words how joyful I am that I found you guys and your organization doing this amazing work. If I had come to know about you guys after I discarded my extra milk, it would have been my biggest regret in this life.
Huyen Phoebe Nguyen – Virginia My daughter was born prematurely and spent the first 3 months of her life in the NICU. Having been in the NICU every day for that 3 months, I had a chance to witness how the lives of sick and tiny babies were. These babies, including my daughter, needed so much support to help them fight the odds facing them for being born too early…but the one thing in common that all of these babies needed was breast milk! More than anyone else, these babies needed the nutrients as well as antibodies contained in the breast milk. I remember spending days and nights pumping during that 3 months (I did it every 2-3 hours). We kept some of the milk in the NICU for my daughter, and kept the rest in a freezer at home, hoping my daughter would eat it all when she got home. However, my daughter has never been a fan of a bottle. When she was around 6-7 months, I realized she would never need the milk that we kept in the freezer for her and thought that I would have to find a good home for the precious milk… and what came immediately in mind was to find other preemies in need of the milk. Through Preemies Today, we found a preemie family and Milkin’ Mamas. We have been so blessed that our daughter came home healthy and continues to do well. Without the support that we have received from all involved (family, friends, doctors, nurses, social workers, therapists, other preemie moms, etc…), it would not have been possible for us to overcome what we went through. We were really happy that at the end we were able to do something to help out other babies, especially other preemies!
Lynette Williams – Illinois My daughter, Sophia, was born on June 16th. She was 10 weeks premature. I wasn’t able to breast feed her due to multiple complications which brought up many hard feelings as I had difficulty with my son, age 3, also. However, I decided that because of her prematurity, that I would continue to pump until the day arrived when she could tolerate (swallow safely) my breast milk and have all of the nutrients and antibodies, etc that everyone speaks of. For reasons only God knows, I was blessed with the ability to produce milk and lots of it! By the time Sophia was 1 week old, I was pumping about 6 ounces (3 from each breast) every 3 hours. I backed off at night as I had an upright freezer at capacity as well as two other freezers filled to capacity. Unfortunately, Sophia died on September 23rd. She was unable to utilize the breast milk that I spent countless hours pumping for her future benefit. My reason for donating was to honor the life that she should have had in hopes that another child might survive or have a better chance at survival than my Sophia. I am grateful that this donation program exists. It makes me feel as though my time was well spent and not wasted.
Raquel Camassa – California I was fortunate enough to produce an abundance of milk when my son Royce was born, but when he was about 3 months old, we discovered he had a milk protein allergy and couldn’t take my milk any longer and we had to supplement with prescription formula instead. I was devastated that I wasn’t able to nurse him anymore and felt like I was failing him since I was able to nurse my first son for a year with no issues. Since I was still producing a ton of milk, I continued to pump and freeze all that I could, hoping he would soon be able to drink my milk again. We confirmed that he wouldn’t and I just couldn’t throw out all this precious milk. It was then I started researching because I knew I wanted to donate it. I discovered Milkin’ Mamas and knew that this was the best way to be able to help other babies in need. I was so happy to know that organizations like this existed and felt honored and grateful to have been able to be a part of it.
Erin Hughes – Georgia When I was pregnant with my son I knew I wanted to breast feed but without a lot of knowledge and having flat nipples, I was only successful for a few weeks. When I got pregnant with my daughter just 7 months after the birth of my son, I knew this was my second shot. When she was born I put her to the breast right away and she nursed great, just not correctly. After a long battle with mastitis and thrush I was told to pump to help with my soreness. Unfortunately for me, pumping led to less nursing and eventually Madison just wouldn’t nurse any longer. I have been exclusively pumping for her for 8 months now and pumped so often that I created an amazing supply. I filled our freezer up very fast and I didn’t want to dump the milk, thats when I read about Milkin’ Mamas. I knew that was where my milk needed to go. The process was so easy and fast. I continue to pump double what Madison drinks and it makes me so happy to donate it to babies who really need it.
Courtney Jennings – Louisiana In 2009 we welcomed our first child into the world 6 weeks early. She had to stay in the NICU for 2 weeks. During this time, I visited everyday to breastfeed her because I knew it was the best thing for her. Unfortunately, I experienced many issues and by the time she was 3 months I was no longer able to breastfeed her. I wish I had known then about moms donating breast milk. When I had my son I feared the same thing would happen so after he was born I pumped very frequently between his feedings to build up a sufficient supply. Breastfeeding was so successful, that I quickly accumulated an excess amount of breast milk that took up our deep freezer. We were running out of room to store it and that’s when I looked into breast milk donation. I was so happy knowing that I could help other moms give their babies the best nutrition possible especially after having gone through a similar experience with a preemie baby. I am proud to have partnered up with Milkin’ Mamas to be a breast milk donor.
Jennifer Flores – Florida My little story starts by saying I never thought God’s creation (the women) could produce so much milk like I have. My first born Emily, I just breastfed her for two months and pumped the first month. Baby #2 came…Lizzy is 6 and a half months old and she will only take my milk. She does not want to suck out of a bottle. Why, I don’t know? Before I use to pump 3 times a day but now I just pump one time in a day, which I think has been a great blessing. I never pictured myself donating breast milk. It feels really good knowing my breast milk is helping a little baby.
Mali Wenkus – Minnesota After seeing how much milk could be produced from feeding my twin boys three years ago, I knew I’d have no trouble providing for my baby girl. My oldest and dearest friend’s son spent considerable time in the NICU having been born at 24 weeks. She talked first hand about seeing mothers who needed donor milk. I knew this excess couldn’t go to waste with others out there who needed extra protein and nutrition for their premature baby. I researched a few options of ways I could help out others with my excess milk and stumbled upon Milkin’ Mamas. For me, they made the process so very easy and convenient!
Amanda Gibson – Texas Even before I ever knew I was pregnant, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I know that it is what is best for my son. A friend told me about Milkin’ Mamas and I did some research and found out that the milk donated help babies in the NICU. I knew immediately that I wanted to donate milk to help these precious babies. I was blessed with a healthy baby boy and am very happy that my milk will help babies that need it.
Lotus Yung – New Jersey I am so happy to be part of the Milkin’ Mama family. I first donated back in 2010 when I had my daughter, Olivia. Like all working moms, I was afraid that my baby would not have enough milk after I went back to work so I started to pump religiously when she was 2 months old. Within months, I had filled up my freezer and 3 of my parents freezers! I knew I had to make space but did not want to throw out this precious milk that I had woken up in the middle of night to pump. I was pumping more than my daughter was drinking, so I did some research and found Milkin’ Mama. I spoke to Keri and Alice (who are always SO helpful) and knew that this is what I had to do. It was so great to know that the donated milk can help save premature babies, this was such a great cause. I felt so happy to know that I can help make a difference. Now, my son is 4 months old and once again my freezer is starting to fill up. So I am back again to donate milk to Milkin’ Mamas. I am so grateful that Milkin’ Mama is here to help all these babies! I hope I will be able to donate for many more months to come!
Silvia Gazzano – Illinois I was blessed with my first daughter Ella in April of 2010 and also blessed with more than enough milk to feed her and fill my freezer. My husband used to joke around and call it my “liquid gold” and show off the contents of our freezer to who ever he could. People were in awe of how much milk I produced and I couldn’t be prouder. Unfortunately I was not aware of Milkin’ Mamas at the time so I ended up throwing away freezers full of my liquid gold when she started on whole milk at the age of one. At the same time I found out I was pregnant with my second child who was born in January of 2012. Valentina has nursed beautifully from day one but I wanted to keep my milk production high so I pumped between feedings and before she was a couple months old I had a freezer full of “liquid gold”. This time I was lucky enough to have a friend tell me about Milkin’ Mamas and after reading that my milk would go to babies in the NICU I knew Milkin’ Mamas was who I wanted to give my milk too. I thank god that I was and am able to produce enough milk for my girls and be able to share my gift with babies in need. It is truly an honor to be a part of Milkin’ Mamas and everything it stands for.
Carolyn Diamond – New Jersey Being a donor has been a blessing to me. The cooler arrived on the day of my brother’s funeral. Because I am donating I have tried to stay calm during my brother’s illness and death. Staying consistent with my breastfeeding and pumping is important to me because of my baby boy but beyond that I knew I would remain consistent because I wanted to keep donating to your cause. My brother was diagnosed the same month I became pregnant. His cancer was Multiple Myeloma and the bottles that held his medications could not be even touched by a pregnant woman because they caused birth defects. He needed donors, but I was pregnant and then nursing, so I donated to your organization instead. Thank you for doing this important work. It helped me to help you.
Brandi Habina – New York I knew after having my son that I wanted to giving him the best nutrition possible (his mother’s milk!) for as long as possible, but that I would be returning to work when he was 12 weeks old. I was so worried that he would not have enough milk when I was away that I started pumping when he was 1 month old. By the time I returned to work my freezer was already full of milk, and after the first few weeks of work I realized that my son never needed to dip into the frozen stash, and I was freezing more each day that he did not need. I didn’t want to waste all the milk when I knew there were babies out there who could use it. My best friend is a NICU nurse and I knew that there had to be a way to put this milk to good use. Milkin’ Mamas is the perfect choice,because the milk goes to babies who really need it! We are blessed with a healthy child who is just over a year old (and doesn’t want to drink that much — well, from a bottle) and an abundance of milk to share with others. My son Lucas and I pray for the babies that need the milk every night that it helps them grow strong and healthy. Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for giving us a way to share with others in need!
Jessica Leake – Kentucky I knew from the moment that I became pregnant with Natalie that I wanted to give her the best start by feeding her breast milk. I knew that I would be returning to work so after her second week of life I started pumping and bottle feeding. I pumped every 2 hours in the beginning around the clock to build up my supply and then after about 4 weeks of pumping I cut back to 5 pumpings per day. We quickly started to fill up our first deep freezer and had no room for food so we purchased a second deep freeze which I also ended up filling up. With Natalie being my first child I had no idea of how much milk she would drink once she got closer to one and I was so scared of running out of milk so I continued to pump until she was 10 months old. Then I felt sure that I would have enough to last her until she was 1. Once Natalie turned 1 and we switched her to whole milk I still had 2 deep freezers full of milk and had no idea of what I was going to do with it all. After all the work I put into getting all that milk I was determined to not waste it and make sure that someone could use it. I researched several milk donation companies on the Internet and then decided to reach out to Milkin’ Mamas. Alice and Keri made the entire process so simple and amazing. Being able to donate this amount of milk and help this many babies and families has been so rewarding and I will recommend Milkin’ Mamas to anyone who has excess milk to donate.
Nichole Kommalan-Smith – Maryland I knew from the beginning that I wanted to breastfeed my daughter Addison; luckily she latched on from day 1 in the hospital and was a trooper with breastfeeding throughout our experience together. I was so scared about my supply going down I would get up in the middle of the night to pump at least two times up until Addison was six months old. Once I returned to work after 12 weeks, I was pumping four times a day, again to ensure my supply would not decrease. I was a new Mom, I was so scared and my goal was to reach One Year, so I wanted to do everything in my power to keep the milk coming! By the time Addison was 8 months old, I had realized I had an overabundance of milk to the point I had filled my parent’s deep chest freezer as well as our home deep chest freezer. We had no space for food. By 9 months, my Dad who watches Addison on a daily basis began to tell me about what he had seen on TV during the day, “Moms selling their breast milk”. I knew that was not in the cards for me, I wanted to do something special with my milk; I wanted to give it to others that were in need. My Mom did some extensive research, and sent me a link to Milkin’ Mamas. So I checked it out right away and Milkin’ Mamas sent me my start kit for the DNA check and blood work. It took me approximately 4 weeks to get accepted to donate my breast milk. I was so blessed throughout my entire pregnancy and have been able to successfully breastfeed Addison up until she was 1 year old, and have not yet stopped. I was able to donate a total of 800 plus ounces of milk to Milkin’ Mamas back in November 2012, and I still have one more cooler to ship. Again, I am very blessed to have been able to breastfeed and am very thankful to have been in a position to help others in need. Milkin’ Mamas made this process so easy for me to do, therefore, I want to send a special thanks to Alice & Keri for being so awesome to work with. I hope my milk made a mommy feel as blessed as we did! I’m happy my milk isn’t going to waste in my deep freezer any longer!
Jacoby Stieler – Iowa I found out I was pregnant with twins when my son was 7 months old. I cut back on pumping since I was 10 weeks along and exhausted! Between nursing him when I wasn’t at work and the milk I had in my freezer, he was able to have breastmilk til he was a year old. Then when the girls came 8 weeks early, I started pumping right away since their mouths were so small making nursing so painful. Now they babies are 6 months old and I have an upright deep freeze full of milk. I felt like putting some of that milk to good use and donate. I still have about 3,000 ounces we figure in the freezer. So we will most likely be donating again unless I dry up soon. I really enjoyed the experience and ease of donating. I know its good for my babies and want to share the benefits with others. My babies went from 2% on the growth charts at their 2 month check to 85% at their 6 month check, go breastmilk!
Wendi Dahlinghaus – Virginia With my first son, I had “thought” about donating because I had an overabundance of milk, but didn’t think twice when ever I had to “clean” out our little freezer due to not enough space. With our second baby, I couldn’t donate, I couldn’t even make enough to provide for him. But I continued to struggle for him, pumping often throughout the day and supplementing with formula so he’d get enough nutrients. I realized years later I had suffered with post partum depression. When Kaela was born, everything in my life was different. I had the boys and my husband was home with us, not stationed elsewhere or constantly deploying as he had been before. So, when it came time for me to start pumping for Kaela, I quickly built a supply. Life was good. I had tons of milk in the freezer and I didn’t want my levels to drop. At a postpartum checkup I had been given Milkin’ Mamas contact info from my doctor. So after we transferred (a few months after Kaela was born) I happily contacted Milkin’ Mamas and was gratefully accepted into the donation program. Each month I’d give a cooler or two or three, depending on if I was trying to build a stash or liquidate it. I gave happily until my daughter turned 12 months old. Seeing my last cooler get picked up made me a little sad. I really enjoyed giving. It always felt good knowing that the milk I provided would go to help other babies in need. It made me appreciate my daughter Kaela even more. Because she was so healthy. What Milkin’ Mama’s does is a beautiful thing. You help to give and sustain life when it’s possible a little life may not have lasted without your help. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to aide in your mission. Have a wonderful New Year and keep those Mamas Milkin’!
Beth Filippo – Illinois I knew I wanted to breastfeed my second child but I wasn’t sure how successful I would be since I struggled so much with my first baby. To my surprise, I was able to provide enough for my baby and then some. Before I knew it, I had a freezer full of milk and absolutely no room for adult food. I knew I wanted to donate it but I didn’t know where to begin. I stumbled upon Milkin’ Mamas and began the registration process. It couldn’t have been easier and more convenient. Keri and Alice are so kind and generous, it really was a blessing to find Milkin’ Mamas. I am so beyond thrilled that not only can I exclusively breastfeed my son but I was able to provide for other babies in need. Hopefully, if I can talk my husband into baby #3, I can be a part if such a wonderful organization again.
Tianna Burroughs – Texas I felt so blessed that my girls were able to receive donor milk when they were in the NICU in Champaign, IL. My milk took a while to come in as they were only 32 weeks when they were born. I pumped every two hours religiously and quickly filled up the NICU fridges! The nurses told me they had never seen so much from one mommy and that I must have been consistent with my pumping! It was a dream that by 3 months old they were exclusively breastfeeding and bottle free…especially since all I heard was how moms with twins usually just end up bottle feeding. To know that they have never had even a drop of formula is truly amazing! My girls are now 10 months old and still breastfeeding great! When I found Milkin’ Mamas online, I knew they would be the best place to send my excess milk and they made the process so easy! It sounded overwhelming at first, but they literally did all the work for me and an added bonus was that I received a $300 check to reimburse me for my pump! I hope my milk made a mommy feel as blessed as we did! I’m happy my milk isn’t going to waste in my deep freezer any longer!
Lisa Klingler – Pennsylvania I started freezing my milk right after my daughter was born. She was only drinking pumped breast milk, and I wanted to save any extra for when I went back to work. I was determined to have her only on breast milk until she turned one. By the time she was 3 months old, I had over 500 ounces of milk saved. That is also the time that we discovered she had an intolerance to cow’s milk and other allergies. After trying the elimination diet for 3 weeks, and my daughter still not getting better, we reluctantly switched her to formula. I was devastated that we wouldn’t be able to use the milk that I saved. After talking to Alice, I knew donating my milk was a perfect opportunity to help little babies in need. If I would have known how good it felt to donate my breast milk in the beginning, it would have been my first option, instead of my last resort. Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for making the process extremely smooth!
Megan Sweeney – Arizona My daughter Aubrey was born 5 weeks early. I was saddened to hear that she would likely spend her first weeks in the NICU. On day two of her life I was able to try and nurse her, while this was initially unsuccessful, I began pumping so that she could receive her nourishment from my milk. On day 5 we were able to bring her home; I feel she was able to come home so soon because of my milk. I feel very fortunate that I was able to provide my daughter with breast milk and am so glad that I have been able to help others as well.
Emily Boyd – Michigan My son Everett, was born a healthy baby boy. I knew I wanted to breastfeed him and I knew I needed to pump since I would be going back to work. When my milk came in I was overwhelmed a bit because Everett would not even empty one side per feeding. After being uncomfortable for a few days I started to pump and store my milk. It wasn’t long before my deep freeze was filling up with bags and bags of my milk. At this point in time I had not heard yet of Milkin’ Mamas, but I did have a friend that was having supply issues, so I gave her many bags of my stored milk. Everett still continued to only eat from one side per feeding, yet thrived, and actually was a bit of a chunky little man for a while! So, again, my freezer filled with milk. Then, a friend informed me about Milkin’ Mamas. I was instantly intrigued and impressed with the organization and wanted to do my part to help out even more babies–babies that were really in need. The process of becoming a qualified donor, was very organized and quite easy to do, even as I was working full-time. The communication is quick, efficient and friendly. It has been such a pleasure being able to work with Milkin’ Mamas. Although my supply has dropped and is preventing me from continuing to donate, I know that if I am blessed again with an overabundance of milk, I will be contacting Milkin Mamas right away since it is such a worthy cause. Through this process, I have really been able to appreciate what a blessing it is for me to have the abundance of milk. Thank you for allowing me to help out the NICU babies!
L. Brooke Freestone – California I had a very difficult pregnancy. I was on bed rest for almost the entire nine months. That is a lot of worrying about your teeny tiny baby. It truly was a miracle that Charlotte was born happy and healthy. After her birth things started going smoothly. I was thrilled to discover that breastfeeding was pretty easy for the two of us and that I had more than enough milk. I wanted to donate my milk and it was important to me to donate my milk to the smallest babies and the most worried and scared mamas. I knew what it was like to worry when your little one seems so small and defenseless. Working with Milkin’ Mamas seemed like the perfect fit since the milk goes to the NICU units. Every morning when I pump I tell my daughter, “Now we are going to get milk for the other little babies.” It has been a great feeling to help and a joy working with the Milkin’ Mamas organization.
Lauren Kowsky – North Carolina I had premature twins, boy-girl, on May 27th. I started pumping right away because I knew with two babies I needed to build up a supply quickly. I pumped around the clock every 3 hours and once my milk came it, it didn’t stop. I produced a ton of milk. The NICU ran out of space for my milk, our freezer at home ran out of space so we had to use a deep freezer we had in storage. My little girl started having digestive issues and the doctors soon determined she was intolerant to the protein in breastmilk. Not an uncommon thing in preemies since their little bellies aren’t fully developed. She could not digest it. So I keep pumping for my little boy and one week after he came home, he too was determined to have the protein intolerance. At this point I had SO much milk but the doctors assured me I should keep it to try and offer the twins around 4 months. We only tried it with our little boy since our little girls digestive issues were worse. He again did not tolerate it. Again the doctors said, well maybe try around 9 months. But at this point I knew hanging onto the milk with the slim chance our little boy could take it would be a waste of all the milk I produced. I googled breast milk donation and did a lot of research but Milkin’ Mamas hit home especially since the owners are twins themselves!! I ended up donating around 450oz of breast milk to help fellow preemies. It makes me feel good to know all my milk is going to other preemies to help them thrive!
Amanda Gudith – Michigan I never thought that I would breastfeed at all, but I gave it a try. I ended up nursing my daughter for a year and it was a great experience. I loved the time we got to spend together. I pumped at work three times a day for eight months so I had plenty of milk for her and enough to fill a deep freezer. I felt guilty any time that I would dump even an ounce down the sink so I decided to try to donate it. I found Milkin Mamas on the Internet and instantly knew that I wanted to donate with you. I am so happy that my extra milk can help babies in need.
Jennifer Hofman – Virginia As we are getting ready to celebrate our sons first birthday. I look back on the journey we have had. I was told when I was just a teenager that I may never be able to have children. It was quite a journey but God blessed us with our baby boy. I wanted to give my son the best start I possibly could. When I started producing so much extra milk I looked for ways to donate. Milkin’ Mamas has made donating very easy and I am happy to know that because of my donation and donations from the other mamas more parents will get to celebrate the first birthday of there little ones. This is a great organization and I hope more mamas donate and give babies the best chance at life.
Laura Nappi – New York I knew I wanted to breastfeed from the very beginning, before I even knew I was pregnant. When Madison was born she would not latch, I was disappointed and stressed out. The lactation consultant brought me one of the hospital pumps and I have been pumping ever since! It was really hard but I knew I wanted my baby to have the best start possible with the best nutrition possible! In the first month I had already frozen 100+ ounces and was afraid I was going to have to throw it away! After reading a blog on a baby website I learned of Milkin’ Mamas and was so excited to be able to help NICU babies!! Milkin’ Mamas made this process so easy and I am so glad I was able to work with them in donating over 380 ounces to babies in need!! Thank you for all the work you do to help us help others!!!
Amanda Goeke – Maryland My second son, Jensen, was put into the NICU for three days after an emergency c-section. He had low blood-sugar, and whereas this could have been life-threatening, we were blessed that he was in the NICU for monitoring rather than urgent and immediate care. When I left the hospital he was able to go home with us. During our very short stay in the NICU we watched several terribly small babies. We watched each of our three days in the unit as a mother and father came to visit with their newborn baby girl. She had been in the units care for just over four weeks. Four weeks on various support tubes and monitors. Four weeks of only being able to hold your baby at the scheduled NICU hours. That would have destroyed me. I am so very blessed that my boys were all healthy babies and I wanted to do something for those babies and mothers that were struggling so. I was not a successful pumper with my two older boys, however I was absolutely determined with my youngest. After filling an entire freezer I began searching for those whom would accept it as a donation. I am thankful for Milkin’ Mama’s allowing me to know that I am helping those whom cannot help themselves. You are truly a blessing from Heaven!
Melissa Martin – Washington I breastfeed because I know it is the best way to feed my child. With my first son Trip I had a horrible time nursing, I battled infection after infection. I had mastitis three times, the last being in both sides and emergency appendectomy with in the first six weeks. I was cut the entire time and constantly bleeding, my doctor told me that I would continue to get mastitis cause I was not healing properly. I could not hold my child in my arms or let him lay on my chest because of the pain. So I made the decision to quit nursing and cried for days. With my second boy Remy I made it my mission to nurse him, my goal was to get past six weeks now he is 14 months old and we are still going strong. I knew early that I over produced and had to pump I did not realize till later just how much I produced. I filled our freezer and my parent’s freezer and my in-laws freezer, we even bought another standup freezer because I had so much milk. I had heard of people selling their milk but that did not feel right to me so I looked for places to donate and there was nothing in Washington State. Finally I found Milkin’ Mamas. I had my lactation specialist look into it for me and she found that is was a great place to donate. I found it really easy to get started and feel so blessed that I am able to help other families give their babies a good start. I have seen first hand and know how hard it can be when a baby is in the NICU, Milkin’ Mamas and the work they do makes it a little easier and I am grateful to be a part of that.
Rain Liu – Nevada Fiona is my first baby, so breastfeeding was a brand new task for me. The first three months after I had my baby girl, I experienced from cracked bleeding nipple to unexplained pain in the breast, you name it. The pain was so excruciating that every time near her feeding time, I would get so scared and started to cry. Many people, even my mom, convinced me to give up breastfeeding but I just couldn’t take the precious breast milk and the bonding time away from my daughter, not to mention I have an over supply of milk. I just kept thinking that my baby girl deserves to have the very best which is breast milk! I need to make sure to provide it to her no matter how challenging it is. So, I started to pump. I pumped every three hours day and night so I can keep my supply up. My freezer got all packed, then I bought a deep freezer and put it in the garage, soon it got all packed too. Then I learn from my friend Danni that she donated her milk to Milkin’ Mamas where this milk will go to premature babies that need it the most. Right away, I decided to get qualified for this and start donating all my milk. Because I feel every baby deserves to be fed with breast milk. I am delighted every time I watch Fedex take my shipments away because I know its going to somewhere useful. I really got to thank Milkin’ Mamas who makes the donation process so easy and convenient! I have donated all my milk now. I sure will continue to donate to Milkin’ Mama in the future after I have my second and maybe third baby!
Heather Zamora – California Both of my sons were born premature and each had to endure a short stay in the NICU during the 1st couple weeks of their lives. From the day they were both born, I started pumping around the clock to establish my supply because I wanted to do everything I could to provide them with the best nutrition there is – breast milk! I am very thankful that I have had an abundant supply of milk both times – with my 1st son, I was able to donate over 1000 oz to another local mama in need. The day we brought my 2nd son home from the NICU, the nurses were laughing about all the breast milk I had in their freezer that never got used during his stay – it was some of the most they had seen from a mom with a NICU baby. We had to buy an extra freezer right away, which I quickly filled! I was also storing milk at my father’s house. That is when I decided that I needed to donate before I ran out of space. I didn’t want to see my milk go to waste since I knew how valuable it is and that there are so many babies out there in need of breast milk. I searched the internet and came across Milkin’ Mamas and decided to sign up to become a donor. My 2nd son is now 3 months old and I have already donated over 3500 ounces to Milkin’ Mamas! I can only hope that my supply keeps doing as well so I can continue to donate as long as I am pumping for him. I exclusively pumped with my 1st son for 1 year and felt a great sense of accomplishment in doing so. I plan to do the same for my 2nd son. Even though both of my sons had a rough start, I am so very happy to say that they are both doing very well now and I know a lot of it is because of the breast milk I have been able to provide to them. You would never know they were born premature! I am so happy that I am able to send my extra milk to Milkin’ Mamas to help out other NICU babies in need as they really do have a special place in my heart.
Suzanne Mason – California When I had my twin girls 5 years ago, I had a hard time breast feeding. I also took a long time for me to get a good supply of milk. Finally, I was able to pump and get lots of milk for them that way. I had a surplus of milk with them but with work I only pumped for 8 months but had a months worth frozen. When I had my son last year, I decided to pump exclusively. However I had even more milk with him. I made the decision/goal to only use breast milk with him for one year. My freezer however was getting too full…to the point where I couldn’t buy food! I searched online and found Milkin’ Mamas and instantly knew that I wanted to donate my milk! I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of this organization and to donate my milk to help other babies! My son was able to have my milk exclusively for his first year. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family. Over the course of 2 months, I was able to send in approx 1,390 ounce.
Rosa Valisto – Washington Hi my name is Rosa, we are very blessed to have two healthy and smart boys. When our son was one month old I had a lot of extra milk in the freezer it was taking over our freezer. I would ask hospitals around the area to see if I could donate breast milk and they would all say we don’t take breast milk so finally I researched on the internet and I saw that there was milk banks that would take my milk so I called a few but I really liked Milkin’ Mamas. They were friendly from the start they always answered all of my questions. My son is one big healthy boy at 7 months and he has enjoyed sharing his milk with other babies that need it. I feel that with my 7 month old son, we’ve done so much to help others like also donating his umbilical cord as well as breast milk. We didn’t do with our first son because I didn’t know about this programs. My goal is to breast feed my son until he is two years old. Breast milk is so powerful for babies and also for other home remedies. I would recommend donating your extra milk to help other babies and their families.
Sandra Tritt – Pennsylvania After a very rocky 5th pregnancy which threatened our daughter’s life, and 2 weeks of hospitalization after my bag of waters broke prematurely, God answered an abundance of prayers and brought our sweet Hosanna Joy safely into the world at 33 ½ weeks—alive, healthy and strong! She was 4lb 5oz and 17 ½ inches long. She spent 11 days in the NICU and did not need one single medical intervention the entire time! At 35 weeks she was discharged. During her NICU stay, I pumped and pumped, so all she ever received when I wasn’t with her and nursing her in the hospital was my expressed breastmilk. My body has always produced an abundant supply with my other babies, and this time was no different. The NICU nurses joked about my stash in the freezer. Once I came home, the milk just sat in our chest freezer and I was worried it would never get used and would go to waste. So I thought about donating it so other premature babies, like my own, could benefit from it. I contacted a midwife friend of mine and asked her if she had any recommendations who to donate through, and she right away recommended Milkin’ Mamas. I am SO thankful I donated through them!!! The entire process was so extremely organized, every step of the way clearly laid out and explained. Keri and Alice made it super, SUPER simple to donate!! They were in contact with me several times via phone, and many e-mails, too, so I was never once in the dark about what was happening. The entire process took about 3 weeks, and not once did I have to leave my house—everything came to me! I cannot say enough how grateful I am that they provide this incredible opportunity for mamas to donate their excess breastmilk and in so doing, help premature, sick and low-birth weight babies live!! What a wonderful feeling it was to donate!
Kaitlyn & Matthew Connelly – Florida We are proud parents of our seven month old beautiful baby girl, Makaila, who has brought so much joy into our lives. From the very beginning, my husband and I shared the same belief of me delivering all natural and planned on breastfeeding all the way through. Although, I was diagnosed at 38 weeks still pregnant with Mastitis, I was still determined to breastfeed and hope to not have to go through that kind of pain again. Milking and ready to go, two weeks later, our happy healthy little girl came into our world and changed us forever. Two months into breastfeeding, since I would fill up so much, my husband went out to purchase a breast pump just to make sure I pumped a bit before I breastfed our little girl, for her to latch on correctly. We noticed if I did not, Makaila had a hard time latching on and could not keep up with how much I would express. I would pump again when she was finished just to make sure I fully emptied, since I had experienced Mastitis two more times. She and I quickly learned what we had to do and I continued to pump my abundant supply of milk which quickly filled our freezers. I thought my great idea to sell my supply online would pay off, with me being a stay at home mama. I received nothing but scams and spam. I was then recommended to donate by several family members. Once I started my research, Milkin’ Mama’s caught my attention. From all the information I’ve learned from how many lives I could save and make such a huge difference, I am so happy and proud to have donated and became a Milkin’ Mama. -Process was efficient. Makaila today is thriving and is okay with sharing.
Cherie Liu – California My baby, Lana, was born 2 months premature. I had placenta abruption (detached prematurely), there was no symptoms, I didn’t feel anything. I had blood gushing out that night, ran to hospital and found out that I was already opened 7cm. Lana was born 4 hours later, still in her amniotic sac. The standby doctor who took her out, was surprised to hear her cry. He mentioned when he delivers babies who came out in the sac with their placenta, they don’t usually live. A day or two after she was born, I started producing a lot of milk. The amount of milk produced was more than how much she was allowed to take in at that time. Hospital’s freezer started to fill up and so was my freezer. I didn’t know what to do with all that milk so I threw away the milk that I pumped for about 2 weeks. One day, as I was talking to one of the nurses at the hospital, she informed me about Milkin’ Mamas. Ever since then, I’ve donating my extra milk. Alice and Keri, made the donating process way too easy! All I gotta do is pump :). Because we have a baby in the NICU, the hospital wanted us to take a CPR class. We did and a few weeks after, my older daughter, Sage, went swimming and she was drown. My husband, who took the CPR class, did everything he remembered from the class and saved her. So prematurity, didn’t only save Lana but also save Sage. So everything works for the best!
Ashley Schuyler – California I am the proud mommy of a 14 month old bundle of joy that I still have the pleasure of nursing. While I am now a huge proponent of breastfeeding my view was not always so positive. While pregnant I had an aversion to the idea of breastfeeding (I really had no family or friends that breastfed past 3 months). I had planned to switch to formula when I went returned to work; because pumping would be too much of a hassle. Then, my son was born and my outlook completely changed. I was very protective of my right and ability to nurse him. I was determined to do everything that I could to ensure that he could continue breastfeeding. When he started showing signs of food allergies I went on an elimination diet (no dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, peanuts, tree nuts). Of course I was told by many people that I might just have to switch to formula but the diet worked. When I returned to work I brought my pump in tow. I was paranoid that my supply might drop after returning to work since I had heard many moms complain of it before. I decided to be proactive and pump away (sometimes pumping up to 6 times a day between home and work….). My son was able to switch between bottle and breast so my freezers began to quickly fill. We reached the point of not having room for food! 4 1/2 months after returning to work I quit my job to stay home with my son. At that point I felt that the excessive amount of milk in my freezers needed to be put to use so I started searching for ways to donate. A mommy friend told me about Milkin’ Mama’s so that is who I contacted. Why wouldn’t I want to help all of those babies in need! The process was very easy and convenient and everyone that I dealt with was so incredibly sweet. I can now say that I am happy to be nursing a toddler and my breastfeeding experience has helped to change an expecting friend’s outlook as well (not to mention some of my family members [ahem, Dad]). Congrats to all of those breastfeeding and Milkin’ Mama’s out there!!!!
Stephanie DePatie – Florida While I was pregnant, my plan was to be able to breastfeed my baby and when I returned to work to have enough frozen milk to get her to her first birthday. We all know that life does not always go as planned. It was not easy to get Morgan to latch on and then she would get frustrated and I felt horrible. I continued to try and then would express milk to feed my daughter as well. We ended up bottle feeding the expressed milk only and I was still very happy with that. It was important to me to provide Morgan with the best and I felt that breastmilk was just that. As I continued to pump we filled up an entire chest freezer. I was well on my way to saving enough milk for my daughter when I returned to work. At the end of May, I was blessed to find out that I would be able to become a stay-at-home mom. This meant that I no longer had to worry about my milk supply and freezing enough to make it to Morgan’s first birthday. My new concern was what to do with all of the milk in our freezer! I knew how important it was to me for my daughter to have breastmilk and I was sure that others felt the same way but were not as fortunate as I was. I researched donating breastmilk and found Milkin’ Mamas.
My experience with Milkin’ Mamas has been wonderful! As a new mom, I don’t have any ‘free time’ – Milkin’ Mamas recognizes and respects that fact and makes is so easy to be a donator. They are there every step of the way to make sure that the process is smooth and not at all an inconvience. Everything I need comes right to the door! Alice and Keri are always so helpful, even when they have other things going on in their own personal lives. Even though Milkin’ Mamas is across the country from me, I feel like they have been right next door for anything that I have needed!
Lindsay Loosen – Wisconsin Ever since my first child was born 7 weeks early, I’ve had a special place in my heart for NICU babies. My son was 4 pounds, 8 ounces and had a 3 week stay in the NICU. I was there every single day with him, practicing nursing. I was determined to breastfeed, but he was too weak to latch on, so I pumped consistently every 3 hours, and he was fed my milk through a tube in his nose. He grew stronger every day and was eventually able to latch on successfully. I breastfed him for 20 months. With all the pumping I did while he was in the NICU and also when I returned to work, I built up a huge milk supply which filled my freezer, my parent’s freezer, and my in-law’s freezer. I had heard of donating, but had never looked into it at the time. I was also a little selfish and wanted to keep it all for my son to drink. My second child was born full-term in May 2012 and I am currently able to breastfeed her exclusively. I still need to pump since my supply is larger than her demand and my freezer was quickly filled again. This time, I decided to look into donating. When I found Milkin’ Mamas, I knew it was the right choice for me. I am so impressed by their donation process and I am thrilled to be a part of their beautiful mission to help NICU babies, just like my son.
Adrienne Reade – California I went into labor 6 weeks early and ended up having my son Bentley at 34 weeks. I started pumping immediately after he was born and after a 15 day NICU stay we were able to take our precious baby home. I quickly found that I was quite blessed to have an oversupply of milk and the freezer started to fill up. After several months of pumping round the clock, Bentley was finally strong enough to latch on and refused to take a bottle of pumped milk. I started saving the milk for the months ahead and our freezer became so full I had to start throwing milk away! I was so sad knowing that my precious milk was going to waste and then thankfully I found Milkin’ Mamas! My first donation was bittersweet but I just thought about all of the babies I would be helping with my donation. As the months have passed I continue to donate and am so happy to share my milk with babies who truly need it!
Halley Livermore – California My name is Halley and my husband and I tried for about a year to get pregnant, after suffering a loss at 24 weeks. We found out we were expecting in May of 2011 and were over joyed! I began having complications during my pregnancy which placed me on bed rest at home and in the hospital. Contractions started at about 26 weeks and I was placed on many medications to stop them and it worked temporarily, at 28 weeks the contractions returned and I was life flighted to a hospital with a NICU, where I was able to hold my little girl inside another 10 days. I gave birth to the most beautiful little girl you have ever seen! She was 3lbs 9 oz and 15.5 in. long. She needed a lot of help but was perfect to me in every way! I started pumping because she could not eat on her own, she received my milk through a feeding tube. There were a couple times in the beginning when my milk was not yet fully established that she needed donor breast milk. I continued pumping every 2 hours around the clock and before I knew it I had a huge over supply of milk, so much so that we had to by a separate big deep freezer to store it all. My little girl, named Paige Addison was doing well in the NICU and we began trying to breastfeed. It is harder for preemies to learn how to breast feed than it is a term baby. But I was one determined momma, I was at the NICU all day everyday of her 7 week stay working on breastfeeding. We continued to work on breastfeeding once she got home and with a lot of hard work we got to where we were exclusively breastfeeding! Then the question came to what were we going to do with all that extra breast milk and I remembered that Paige had gotten some donor milk while in the NICU and with a little research I knew I had to donate all my milk as a way of thanking the breast milk donors that donated the milk my little miracle had received and as a way of thanking all the NICU nurses and doctors that made it possible for Paige to survive. I chose Milkin’ Mamas to donate to because I loved that it was for the sole purpose of helping NICU babies like mine.
Rosa Perez – Virginia Back in August of 2011 I was going crazy worrying about “do I have enough milk for when I go back to work in September?” I started pumping and pumping making sure Eli had more than enough milk when I wasn’t around. I never would have thought in a millions years that I would have been able to produce more than enough milk. More milk than he could actually consume. I didn’t want to throw it away and asked around as to what I could do. I was told Milkin Mamas took donations. I felt so relieved because I really didn’t want to throw it away and when I found out that it was going to to babies who really needed made me feel even better! Thanks so much for doing this for the babies who really need it!
Heather Cranney – California With my first daughter I was working 10 hours a day from when she was 6 weeks until 9 months. When I was working I had to pump 4 times a day and I was always stressed and worried about if she would have enough milk for the next day. When she was 9 months I was lucky enough to be able to start being a full time stay at home mother. I continued breastfeeding her until she was 21 months and she actually weened herself. I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter when my first was 18 months old. I knew right away I wanted to breast feed her as well. I was grateful that my milk came in so well with her. I had plenty of extra and I looked into donating it since I have it. I continued to donate for 4 months. My husband is in the Marines so I am just grateful that I can stay at home with my girls and that I was able to donate!
Jennifer Addington – Arizona When my son Jacob was born, he was in the NICU for a week before coming home. Although I had high aspirations of breast feeding, the stress of having a baby in the NICU, coupled with the physical aftermath of an emergency c-section was too much. I decided to pump exclusively and was quite successful for 14 months. When my daughter Jillian arrived, I realized all the perks of pumping, and how much it included my husband in daily feedings. I have exclusively pumped for both children and with Jillian, I established such a healthy milk supply that I was running out of places to store it! Both my freezers were stocked to the max! After 1 week of throwing my excess milk down the drain (sniff, sniff) I scoured the internet until I came across Milkin’ Mamas and knew immediately this was for me. They make the process so easy and convenient and the piece of mind knowing that it’s going to help babies in need is heartwarming! I love being part of something so amazing!
Jeanne Myers – Florida I successfully breastfed my baby girl for her first year and then some, pumping 4 times a day faithfully the entire time. Looking back I realize how anxious I was all the time about my milk supply diminishing. I was caught up in the vicious cycle of worry…which causes stress, which affects one’s milk supply, which in turn then causes more worry and stress. Because of this I always “banked” my excess milk in the freezer for emergencies. Through my fears I didn’t see just how fortunate I was with the amount of milk my body produced. There were only a few rare times when my supply was so low that I had to pull from my freezer stash. I tried to give my daughter some of this defrosted milk, unsuccessfully, and that’s when I realized that she was a “fresh milk only” kind of girl. I couldn’t bear the thought of all that milk and hard work going to waste; I was the type to get upset if even one ounce got wasted. Hey, every drop counts! I did some research and was very happy to find a place where I could donate my milk to help premature babies in need. We were blessed that our baby was full term, but not everyone is so lucky. The picture of the preemie baby on the Milkin’ Mamas home page validated that this was what I wanted to do, to help those families and precious little ones in any way I could. I know my donation is only a small part of what helps these miracle babies survive; the real heroes are the NICU nurses, staff, etc. God bless them and the families who need them so desperately. I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for an alternative to dumping out their milk. Milkin’ Mamas made the process very easy! I would do it again in a heartbeat and plan to if circumstances allow!
Jennifer Burth – Minnesota With my first daughter, I pumped so often that I was producing more than twice as much milk as she could consume during a full day so I started bagging and freezing it just in case we were to run short or for in the event that I could not produce any longer. My thoughts were, at least it is there just in case! When my daughter turned one year old and we transitioned onto whole milk, I had a deep freeze literally full of frozen breast milk. I felt terrible that I hadn’t used any of it and yet I had no idea that I could donate it anywhere so I threw it all away. A fair estimate on what I dumped was about 5000 ounces! Once I had my second child, I knew there had to be something useful I could do with my extra milk, assuming I would be producing a large amount similar to what I was with my first daughter so I did some research! Low and behold, I found a few places that were accepting donated milk and I am so glad that I decided to register with Milkin Mamas and go through the steps to become a donor! The process was fairly easy and absolutely worth knowing that my extra milk that we were not using was being used by other babies that needed it! We do indeed plan to have another child and when the time comes that I am yet again pumping and freezing extra milk, I will no doubt contact Milkin Mamas to get re-verified so I can donate to such a great group! Milkin Mamas has made me feel important and valued for donating my milk and I am proud to know that I haven’t only helped make my daughter healthier because of it, but someone elses child also!
Melanie Kaiserman – New Jersey I always knew I wanted to breastfeed when I had children so they could get the nutrients they need as well as develop a close bond with me from birth on. I was 23.5 weeks pregnant when I went into labor with my first daughter, Brianna. I got to see her for a minute before she was rushed to a NICU at a different hospital since the one I was at did not have one. Aside from the obvious worry for my daughter, the breastfeeding issue was still there. She was not with me, so now what? I didn’t know much about breastfeeding other than what I had read on the internet beforehand so I did know that if I didn’t do something I might have a supply issue as I had read about on many message boards. Luckily I had a wonderful lactation consultant who met with me at the hospital and showed me how to pump. So I started building up my freezer stash. Being new to pumping, I was still concerned about supply so I had a very rigid schedule of pumping every 2-3 hours for 15-20 minutes. Before I knew it, my freezer was packed and Brianna did not start getting my milk until she was about 2-3 weeks old and even then it was in small quantities. So I transferred all of the milk in my freezer to my father’s deep freezer at work and continued pumping, wherever I was, even in public restrooms. Since my daughter was in the hospital it felt very lonely being hooked up to a pump but I stuck with it knowing in the long run it would benefit my daughter. Sadly, Brianna passed away after 7.5 weeks in the NICU. Racked with grief, I quit pumping cold turkey which was very painful. At the time, I didnt know of any other options for my milk or places where I could donate so all the milk that had accumulated over those two months was thrown out. Three years later, I had my son, Brandon. Breastfeeding was off to a rocky start since his latch wasn’t perfect and I had to use a supplemental nurser initially with my pumped milk, but I was determined to make breastfeeding work so I continued despite the pain and exhaustion. 6 weeks in, things were progressing slightly better. At that point, I decided it would be a good time to build the freezer stash I had seen many women type about on discussion boards for my eventual transition back to work. I also started taking a graduate course around that time so I needed to pump in order to leave milk for Brandon when I wasn’t home. Initially I was very possessive of my milk, rationing out how much Brandon could get while I was away for fear that there may not be enough. Well, there was plenty. I again filled my freezer. At that point I decided to research milk donation in hopes that I could help out other babies like Brianna instead of again wasting the milk and throwing it out. I came across a milk bank that sent me supplies and started donating. When Brandon was around 12 months, the milk bank sent an email that they would not be accepting anymore donations past a certain date. Since I did not meet the deadline, I again ended up throwing out a ton of milk. I breastfed Brandon for 16 months. The milk bank had sent me a free pump that I never used since I had my own. I ended up donating it to a teen mother. Two years later when I had my son, Ethan, I had a huge freezer stash again and knew I would want to donate so I checked into the milk bank I donated with with Brandon and it still did not have a need for milk donors. I researched other milk banks and came across Milkin’ Mamas and started donating through them. Although I am still breastfeeding Ethan now at 23 months, I have stopped pumping and unfortunately have to stop donating at this time. I hope when I have more time to start pumping again and I can continue to help NICU babies.
Ashlea Smith – Nebraska With my first baby I nursed but had to supplement with formula. I didn’t produce enough milk and after 6 months my supply dried up. I was disappointed I didn’t hit my goal of nursing her for a year so with my next baby I was very dedicated to increasing my supply. I nursed him exclusively and started pumping on a schedule from day one. Before I knew it I was producing way more than he could ever drink on a daily basis. I filled up 2 chest freezers in a few months and had nowhere to store food. I couldn’t bring myself to throw the milk away so I started searching for ways to donate milk. That’s when I found Milkin’ Mamas! The donation process has been so easy and I’m proud to be a part of such a great cause! I could easily stop pumping now and my son would have enough milk until he turns one but I can’t bring myself to do this yet. It’s so important for these precious little ones to receive the nutrients they need so I will continue to donate my time to pump to shorten the time they need to stay in the NICU. I’ve been blessed with two healthy children and this is my way to give back and help those babies in need!
Michelle Jefferson – California Levi was in the NICU the first week of life. It was there that I witnessed what these babies struggle with and their stories touched our heart. I started looking into what I could do to help. That’s when I learned about donating. I started researching and found the right match for me: Milkin’ Mamas! It has been an honor and a blessing to be able to give and help these little ones have a fighting chance.
Beka Counts – Missouri When I had my first child Rachel I was not sure what to do and failed at nursing after only a few weeks. I ended up spending so much money on formula that when I found out I was expecting again I decided I would make nursing work no matter what. So about a week after I came home from the hospital I sta…rted pumping because I was afraid of failing at nursing again. Well pumping and nursing was going great, so great that I filled our entire freezer so much I had to take the food out of it and either throw it away or eat it right away. My friends and family would come over and make cracks about my freezer being full of milk instead of food it was getting annoying. I told my husband I did not want to waste my precious milk so one day I just googled milk production and Milkin’ Mamas came up. I immediately read about it and told my husband that I wanted to be a milk donor. About three weeks later, I was able to send my first donation off of almost one thousand ounces. I continued to make donations and then in December my best friend had her baby 12 weeks early and only weighed 1 lb 11 oz. That is when I realized what I was actually doing by donating my extra breast milk. The hospital had to give the baby my friends pumped breast milk and someone’s donated milk so she would gain weight faster. I will never forget the difference I made donating breast milk and saving the lives of precious babies. I will hopefully be a breast milk donor with my future children.
Ashley Busakula – Kansas I became a milk donor for a couple of reasons. I was producing more than enough milk for my son, so we had tons we were freezing. Secondly, friends had mentioned how donated milk is used to help preemie babies. As a new mother, the thought of my baby being attached to tubes just broke my heart and I wanted to help in any way I could. The quickest way was to donate my extra milk! I’m thankful the Lord has allowed me to help in some small way to those tiny tiny little babies and that it truly does help them and their families.
Amy Koeller – Washington Becoming a donor is a rare opportunity to be able to help infants if you are not in the medical field. By donating my excess milk, something I would probably have normally just washed down the drain, I have the simple pleasure of knowing I’ve assisted a tiny child to grow a little faster, to go home a little sooner. To know they are being nourished with something only breastmilk can offer them. I feel blessed I am able to give what others may not be able to provide. Having nursed all three of my daughters (5, 20 months and 4 months), it’s a great pleasure to know the Lord gave me just a bit more to be able to provide for others the way I was able to provide for them. Milkin’ Mamas is just an amazing company to do what they do and I am grateful I found them! And thankful my cousin implanted the idea into my head to donate to such a worthy cause!
Heidi McManus – South Carolina My Milkin’ Mamas experience all began in December of 2010. After preparing for a Valentine’s delivery in 2011, our son Jaxson decided to make his grand entrance two days before Christmas! Amid scary circumstances I delivered at 32 weeks. Jaxson was not only born premature at 3 lbs. 12 oz., but with a congenital heart defect. Jaxson’s 1st nursery stay was in the NICU of MUSC in Charleston, South Carolina. In an effort to give him the best nutrition and chance at survival Jaxson received donor breast milk while in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit until my own breast milk supply came in. I tirelessly pumped and pumped and pumped. It was the only way I could stay sane and in control during such an emotionally scary time. I religiously pumped for 2 months until Jaxson was physically able to nurse after open heart surgery. Jaxson was released to go home on his original due date of February 14, 2011! I continued to nurse and pump even after Jaxson’s nutritional needs moved us onto formula and caloric supplements. After learning about Milkin’ Mamas on the internet I knew my freezer full of milk could be put to great use to help other babies like Jaxson in the NICU. Just 2 weeks before Jaxson’s 2nd open heart surgery I was cleared and approved for donation. Today Jaxson is thriving and is about to celebrate his 1st birthday! As a Mama who sat for what seemed like months in a hospital holding the tiny little hand of my little miracle, I appreciate and understand the gift that mother’s milk can give! I am proud to think that our journey may cross paths with other Mamas and babies down the road.
Andrea Larson – North Dakota When I was breastfeeding my daughter 5 years ago, I was fortunate enough to have a surplus of breast milk that I ended up donating to a friend who was having trouble keeping up with the demand of her hungry daughter. With the birth of my son this year, I didn’t have any friends or family who were in need of my over supply. So I thought that I would just pump and store and then quit once I felt I had enough to get my son through his first year. When he was 6 months old, I had pumped and stored enough to get him through his first year. At that time, I realized once again how convenient it was for me and how healthy it is for my son to continue breast feeding. I didn’t have to worry about having milk thawed out or to have to warm up a bottle when we had a screaming hungry child in the middle of the night. So I decided to keep breastfeeding. It became apparent however, that if I was going to continue breastfeeding, I would need to somehow figure out what to do the extra supply that was taking up all my freezer space as I continued to pump and freeze. I did some research on donating breast milk and came across Milkin’ Mamas. Milkin’ Mamas appealed to me because their intense screening process assured me that putting babies first was their primary goal. Of course, the fact that they can use my extra supply for critically ill infants that need it most was an added plus for me as I feel that I am contributing to a very worthy cause. My goal is to donate an excess of 8000 ounces to this great cause and in so doing, be able to help others in need as well as free up my freezer space for cold food storage once again.
Marcie Ament – Maryland My daughter, Veronica, was born in April 2011 almost 16 weeks early, weighing only 1 lb, 4 oz. Immediately after she was born, I began pumping my breast milk because I knew the benefits of breast milk especially for premature babies. Veronica remained in the NICU for 119 days and overall, did amazingly well. I am convinced that one of the reasons she did so well was because of the breast milk. During her NICU stay, I consistently produced more milk than she was taking so I built up quite a supply. I was told once we got home we would go through the milk quickly, so the thought of donating it never really crossed my mind. But fortunately, once Veronica came home, she learned to nurse exclusively. So we were left with two freezers full of breast milk. But even then I was reluctant to donate it. I was selfish for the sake of my daughter – I didn’t want to give the milk away if there was a chance that she would someday need it. But when I finally heard about Milkin’ Mamas, I knew it was something I had to do. I was struck by the fact that the milk would end up going to extremely premature babies just like Veronica. The idea that I could be in a position to help those babies was something I could not pass up. I feel incredibly blessed that my daughter continues to do well and equally blessed that I was able to donate milk that will hopefully benefit other babies. Thank you Milkin’ Mamas and thank you to all who donate! Click here to watch a video showing Veronica’s NICU Journey.
Courtney Young – South Carolina Courtney shared her milk donation story with Fox News on October 27th, 2011 – Take a look!!! Click Here to watch the video
Serina Simpson – Arkansas I welcomed a healthy baby boy into this world on December 21, 2010. I knew before Elijah was born that I wanted to breastfeed and I wanted it to last as long as it could. We started off on the breast in the hospital and it lasted for about a week. Mommy needed a more flexible schedule. I started pumping right away. I got a little obsessed with the fact that I needed to pump as much as I could because I didn’t know how long my supply would last. I was pumping 50-55 oz a day and Elijah was only drinking half of that. I started freezing and haven’t stopped yet. The day came that my husband said something had to be done! The full size deep freezer was loaded down with nothing but milk. I knew that I couldn’t throw any milk out because it hurt me just to waste a drop! We first shared Elijah’s milk with a family friend and then again with a cousin. After that first time sharing, I knew it was time to research milk donations. I came across Milkin’ Mamas and knew right off that’s what I wanted to do. I felt connected the first phone call I received from Keri! I have made several donations equaling 5 large coolers and 2,352.5 oz of milk. It was a bittersweet day sending out my first shipment. Every time I sit and feed Elijah, I think about all the tiny babies and families we have saved and are helping! Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for being available for small town mamas and working with us to save lives. I feel so blessed.
Victoria Conarroe – Texas I always wanted to breastfeed my children. With my first son, I was able to provide breast milk until he was 11 months. Since I enjoyed the experience, I wanted to do the same for my second although he was completely different. He did not take to the breast right away and had severe heartburn and reflux so we had to use a bottle so he could sit up. I still pumped and sto…red because I thought I could get a head start. Well, my pro-activeness lead to overstock and my freezer jammed packed. I am an over producer as well. In between my two boys, my sister had twin girls early and they survived in the NICU for weeks. My sister started to have problems with breathing while in the hospital so she was given medicine and was unable to provide the girls breast milk for awhile. Luckily, someone donated to the hospital milk bank, which was able to provide them with nourishment. My sister was also an over producer and after the girls were old enough she was able to donate her remaining supply to a local milk bank. That’s what lead me on my search of what to do with my stock pile. I just did not want it to go to waste and I wanted to return the favor since someone helped my nieces. I live in a small town, plus with two kids, it was hard to travel very far. I was excited when I found Milkin’ Mamas and they were able to send everything to me. I feel fortunate to have been able to breastfeed my children and I hope that other children can benefit from it as well. Thank you for providing a way for me to donate even though I live in the sticks.
Deborah Stein – Virginia When Zoe was first born, friends told me I’d need to stock up on milk for when I went back to work. So, I started pumping away. I thought it was odd that friends told me they didn’t have enough milk stored up when they went back to work, since I was able to pump a ton. I didn’t realize until much later that I actually had an oversupply of milk. In addition to having more milk than I’d ever need if I went back to work, I wound up finding a job where I could work from home, so I didn’t need any of the frozen milk. I think I’ve used maybe 3 bags of frozen milk in the 8.5 months I’ve been nursing my daughter. Once she started on solid foods, my freezer got out of control. It became completely full of milk and food for the baby and there was no room for food for my husband and me. I didn’t want to toss the milk but I knew I’d never use it. I remembered someone mentioning milk donations in my mom’s group months earlier, so I decided to look into it further. That’s when I found Milkin Mamas and the rest is history. I am so lucky to have a happy, healthy baby and if I can pass that on to another baby, I consider myself doubly lucky.
Kristi West – California Like many other moms out there, I first came across Milkin’ Mamas because my freezer was overflowing with milk and I couldn’t bear to throw it away. I first started pumping when my son was in the NICU after he was born. He was able to receive donated breast milk there, before my milk came in. I will always be indebted to those women who donated so that my son could have breast milk since the day he was born. That reason led me to do what I could for others in my situation. I have been blessed to be able to donate over 1,000 ounces to Milkin’ Mamas. This has been such a blessing for me and I know that I have inspired other friends to donate as well! Thank you Milkin’ Mamas for providing this opportunity!
Robyn Bailey – South Carolina I became a milk donor out of necessity. My husband was going to throw all my frozen milk away because it had taken over our deep freezer which we had to purchase just for breastmilk. I knew there had to be a way to use this milk to help other babies so I started looking online and found Milkin Mamas. I was able to donate all my frozen milk knowing other premature babies were being helped. Through being a milk donor, I am able to help my sister’s twins currently in the hospital born at 35 weeks while her milk is starting to come in. That is a blessing knowing my nephews are able to benefit as well. I highly recommend Milkin Mamas for anyone thinking of donating or knows someone who can! What a difference you can make in someone elses life and maybe even your own personal circle!
Elizabeth Dvorkin – Illinois Caleb nursed wonderful for the first 4 weeks of his life and then he started to develop an aversion to nursing. At first we thought it was colic and my doctor told me to start pumping and giving him a bottle since he would only nurse for no more than 4 minutes before screaming. So I started pumping and freezing the excess. A few weeks later we found blood in his stool. T…hat is when we found out his digestive system couldn’t tolerate milk and soy proteins. I then went on a strict elimination diet. In the mean time I continued to pump and collect excess milk. This milk my son could not eat due to his intolerance. Therefore I started to look for a place I could donate my excess milk and that is when I found Milkin’ Mamas. They made the process so easy and I never thought twice about donating my milk that Caleb can’t digest to another baby who needs it.
Stacey Fuchs – Arkansas Life as a Mom doesn’t always go the way we plan, but our Heavenly Father always has a plan for us. Our first 2 babies were healthy, breastfed over a year, no problems or even complications during pregnancy or after birth. So when we were blessed with our third pregnancy we had no idea what changes were about to occur. Somewhere between weeks 11 and 19 our baby stopped growing, from that point we knew that our Lord Jesus had a special purpose for this baby! Over the next few months we would endure countless ultrasounds, bleeding and pains, to name just a few symptoms. All the while keeping our faith in the Lord’s plan we continued. When I was 33 weeks 6 days I went in for what had become a normal check up (consisting of non-stress test, doppler scan of the flow in the chord & the normal doctor visit), they sent me to ER to be monitored & I went into labor. The baby had continued to have HGR (human growth restriction) and was behind by 3 weeks. So if everything else going on wasn’t complicated enough to explain just add the difference of dates. Due to the labor my c-section went well & the baby was breathing when he came out. He weighed 3 lbs 2 oz and was 15 1/8″ long. I emphasized my concern that my baby was to be breast fed and not formula fed. It was comforting to know that I had the option to use milk donated by other mom in the event mine didn’t come in. The freezer space quickly became cramped to which we invested in a much bigger deep freeze. After a month of being home I really felt the Lord lay on my heart that all the milk sitting in our new freezer could benefit another precious miracle such as Asher, so I began to research and found Milkin’ Mamas. Today Asher is 9 months old, 12 lbs 5 oz and 24 1/2″ long. He may be small but he is a fighter! We spent 33 days in the NICU and on Dec. 25, 2010 we, our children (son 6 years & daughter 23 months) loaded up to pick up the most special gift of all, baby Asher! I breastfed my first 2 children for over a year of age and plan to do that for Asher. A Mom’s job is full of rewards!
Julia Nickell – South Carolina I breastfed my first baby and was planning on nursing my second child as well. When I was about five months pregnant, we found that he had a very serious congenital heart defect and would most likely be in the NICU for months. I still wanted him to have my milk, so some good friends went in and bought me a great breast pump. I pumped faithfully every day once Matthew was born. He used some of it, but because of multiple surgeries, he was on IV nutrition for the most part. I still pumped faithfully, waiting for the day when he would be able to come home and use it. Then, at seven weeks old, he died of complications that stemmed from his heart defect. I went home, devastated, to a freezer full of milk that I no longer needed. Every time I opened my freezer, I would start crying because it was a constant reminder that my son wasn’t there anymore. I almost threw it all away, but thankfully, someone mentioned the idea of donating it. After a lot of research I found Milkin’ Mamas and felt that it would be a great way to honor Matthew’s life. It sure doesn’t make up for missing my baby, but I am so thankful that I was able to donate and maybe, just maybe, help prevent another mom from having to go through the loss of their child. I am hopeful that when God blesses us with another baby, I will be able to donate again!
Danielle Cernohous – Wisconsin The decision to breastfeed was a very important one for me. I wanted, as I believe most mothers do, to give my son only the best. For me, the best meant breastfeeding. My breastfeeding journey, however, did not start off quite as I had imagined. Sawyer did not latch on until about 30 hours after delivery. After that, it was a constant battle to keep him awake when he was eating. I became concerned about my milk supply when he hadn’t quite gotten back to his birth weight at his 2 week check-up. I started pumping after every feeding in an attempt to increase my supply. Sawyer also began eating better, and slowly I began to build a reserve of frozen milk. I continued to pump after most feedings in order to stock up for my anticipated return to work. By the time I returned to work when Sawyer was 12 weeks old, I had a fair amount of frozen milk. Thankfully, I found that I was able to pump enough at work to supply my son with what he needed while we were apart. I was even able to continue to freeze a little extra each day. I continued to pump after feedings on the weekend, still leery that my supply would begin to diminish. By the time Sawyer was 6 months old, I had a quite a bit of milk frozen. I also had a beautiful, happy, healthy baby! I began thinking about what I would do with the milk since I wasn’t using it. I knew there must be a way to put it to good use, and I began looking into donating. That is when I found this wonderful organization ~ Milkin Mamas. Breastfeeding did not necessarily come easy for us, but I am proud of the fact that I worked hard to be able to breastfeed my son, and I feel very lucky that I have been able to donate the extra milk that I had to benefit other babies.
Michelle Charles – Georgia I began pumping milk when my daughter, Gianna, was 1 month old. Just enough to have bags if we were out and about or if someone would babysit. I had a huge supply in the morning so I would pump an extra bag every morning out of habit. On May 22, at 8 months, our Gia unexpectedly and without cause died. I was/am absolutely devastated (to say the least) and to add to my tragedy I had engorged breasts and an entire freezer full of milk. I had to continue pumping to relieve myself and was heartbroken at the thought of throwing out all that precious milk. That’s when I looked online and found Milkin’ Mamas. I felt this was a great solution to make use of the breast milk I had saved and one more thing I could do in honor of my beloved daughter. Milkin’ Mamas was wonderful, sensitive, and made everything as easy and convenient as possible. I am so glad I found Milkin’ Mamas and hopefully when we are blessed with our next child I can donate again. I like to think because of Gianna’s life that other babies may have a chance at living too.
Gisselle Miranda – New Jersey I am extremely grateful that I have been blessed with a plentiful supply of breast milk for my little one. Her health and happiness is the most important thing to me. I am happy to be able to share at least a little of that with other babies who for whatever reason are not able to receive that type of nutrition from their own mamas. Milkin’ Mamas made the qualifying process really easy and it has been a pleasure to become part of this family of wonderful mamas who want the best not only for the own child but for other children who need it!
Anu Thakur – California I can’t thank Keri and Alice enough for what they do to facilitate our milk donations. When my son was two months old a friend suggested that I start freezing milk just in case my production went down. As the freezer started to overflow I found Milkin’ Mamas and the rest is history. I thank my baby every time I mark a bag for donation. The way I look at it, he is sharing something precious with other babies. I hope that someday he will realize what he did and be proud of himself and his mommy. After all, isn’t that what we all want – for our children to be proud of us?’
Erin Marek – Pennsylvania Whoever coined the phrase “Don’t cry over spilled milk” obviously wasn’t breastfeeding their child. After my first child, Adalyn, was born last fall I would become devastated if I spilled any milk after pumping while trying to build up a stash for once I returned to work. The fear of wasting any of that mama goodness soon paid off because I had a few shelves of the freezer solely dedicated to breastmilk. My supply continued to improve and the stash continued to grow. Once I returned to work, I was pumping more every day than I needed for my daughter’s bottles while I was away. I found out about Milkin Mamas and immediately began to freeze and store my pre-work pump session milk. It was only 4-6 ounces per day but it quickly added up and I was soon able to send away a cooler full of milk. Shortly after I began the milk donation process my best friend gave birth to my God-daughter, Sofie, at 34 weeks and she required a 4 week NICU stay. The hospital where she was delivered, to my dismay, did not supply donor milk or human milk fortifier.This only increased my determination to donate as much milk as I was able to to Milkin Mamas. My hope is that in the future any baby who could benefit from donor milk has access to it. I fully support breast milk donation and am definitely looking forward to doing so again once baby #2 arrives! I was determined to give my baby the best start possible by breastfeeding and feel so fortunate that I was able to help other babies have a healthy start too! Thank you for helping me in this amazing journey!
Tess McHone – Tennessee My husband works at a children’s hospital in town and some days he comes home with stories that haunt my dreams but some times he comes home with stories of victory that warm my heart for days. When I got pregnant with my son I dreaded ever needing to visit the hospital on more than a lunch date with my husband and thank God I had a perfectly healthy little boy. I quit my job to stay home with him and started pumping right away so my husband could bond with him too. I’m not sure why, but my son didn’t want to take a bottle and after several tries I think it hurt my husband’s pride so we stopped trying. Unlike most of the mothers I have read about on here, I was not a super producer but by that point I had enough milk saved up that I was worried it would go bad before I got to use it. After my friend mentioned something about donating breastmilk, I looked into it and found Milkin’ Mamas right away. I shipped off almost 150 ounces a few weeks later. Not near what a lot of mothers can give but it was all I had. I was able to continue pumping and I still have plenty to mix with my son’s food until he is at least 1. After I met my son and have grown to love him, my heart goes out to all those parents that have had a child in NICU or, heaven forbid, have lost a child. I hope that while it wasn’t a huge amount, my donation helps some child out there to pull through and bless their family with such amazing love. I might not be a super producer, but every little drop adds up.
Malea Laymon – Utah Mama of the Month – March 2011 / Donated 3,024 oz I produced a lot of milk with Ellie, and luckily I was able to use it all up before it expired. I used it in her baby cereal and then I gave it to her in her sippy cups. I knew I would most likely produce a lot of milk with Jack so I started looking into selling it. I did not feel good with anything I found on the Internet. (I obviously had not found Milkin’ Mama’s yet!) I did all that I could to try to use up all the milk I had produced for him before it had expired, I even gave it to Ellie. But sadly the day came when I had to dump it all out. It broke my heart! I knew I had to find someone or something to do with my next batch. So along came Max, and I still wasn’t sure of what to do with all the milk I was about to produce! One of my friends had a baby 3 weeks earlier and could only breastfeed him for a month before she “dried up”. I asked her if she wanted my milk for her little guy and she gladly excepted. I loaded up her freezer right away. As I was gathering some info from the Internet on frozen breast milk for her, I came across Milkin’ Mamas. I read everything there was to read on the site. I felt good about it right away, but decided to sleep on it for a few nights before I jumped into it. After the second night, I was so anxious to call and start the process, I knew it was a good decision and called that morning. My husband and I had just purchased a second deep freeze for all my breast milk. With the last 2, our deep freeze had literally nothing BUT frozen breast milk in it. I got a call back from Keri that afternoon and I was on my way to donating! I was so happy! It took me a while to get through the whole process – but that’s just the life of a mom with 3 kids, a husband, a house and so forth. But the day came when the giant coolers arrived on my door step. I ended up donating 1,700 ounces that day, and still had more in the freezer. So a little while later 3 more coolers arrived on my door step. I donated another 1,325 ounces that day, for a total of 2,915 ounces. I was very humbled knowing that my milk – MY MILK – was going to help babies around the U.S. become strong and have a chance to really be a kid! Well, I still had lots of milk in the freezer and was still pumping a lot, so I was about to request more coolers when a friend of mine and her husband just received great news that they would finally be receiving a baby to adopt after 4 years of waiting. This little guy had heart and kidney problems. I thought that this baby is like the babies my milk is going to now, so I asked my friend if she would like my milk for her new son and she gladly excepted. This made my heart so happy! So, not only am I providing the best for my baby, but 2 of my friends’ babies and babies all over the U.S. This truly has been a great experience for me and my family. My daughter, Ellie, says that when she grows up she is going to give her breast milk to sick babies too. I am definitely coming back to Milkin’ Mamas with baby #4, not that #4 is on it’s way now, but in the future.
Kathy Eggleston – California My beautiful sweet little girl, Kyli Jo was born on 8/1/09, and little did we know she was born with Duodenal Atresia. It is a condition in which the first part of the small bowel has not developed properly. She had life saving surgery at 5 days old and was in the NICU for 3 (long) weeks. I pumped and pumped to maintain my breast milk, and low and behold, God granted me with more milk than Kyli needed! I chose to donate my breast milk because I saw numerous other babies in the NICU needing more breast milk than their moms could produce. This heart wrenching experience of having a baby in the NICU opened my eyes to how much breast milk is needed and I feel so privileged to have been able to help other babies and families in need.
Donna Saenger – Wisconsin Mama of the Month – January 2011 / Donated 4,650 oz I first became interested in donating breast milk after giving birth to my first daughter, but was unable at that time. When I became pregnant again, I saw the Milkin’ Mamas ad in a magazine and decided to find out how I could donate. My husband assisted wtih the packing and marking of the bags while my mother and grandmother offered emotional support. I am very thankful for the opportunity to be able to donate my breast milk so babies can have a good start in their long life ahead.
Carrie Acosta – Florida Carrie has lost 2 babies to Hydrops Fetalis, please consider donating to her project – Viviana’s Memory Boxes. She provides “Memory Boxes” to local hospitals for families that have just lost an infant to stillbirth, miscarriage or pre-term labor. These boxes will help bereaved parents find a sense of hope, healing and a small measure of comfort in the midst of their grief. My son Kaleb was born in April 2010 with a rare condition called Hydrops Fetalis. He survived for 3 days in the NICU. I had never been in a NICU before and didn’t realize how tiny some of the babies were until I saw my 6 pound son next to a 2 pound baby. After Kaleb passed away and I had a full milk supply, I knew I wanted to donate it. I came across many milk banks, but they were all for babies in other countries. When I found out Milkin’ Mamas donated to NICU babies my heart sank, I knew this was where I wanted to donate my milk. To help another family from not losing their precious baby gives Kaleb’s life a purpose.
Kamisha Sullivan – California I first heard about the milk bank from my midwife- Candace Leach. I loved the idea of being able to participate in such a program. My son, Paul was born November 17, 2007. My desire to breast feed as soon as he was born was made possible with the help of a fabulous nurse named Dana. I had been induced, labored 42 hours, and eventually had a cesarean. Although many aspects of my birth had not gone as planned, I am grateful for the opportunity to quickly bond and be alone with my baby. Paul latched on quickly and gained weight steadily. When he was a couple weeks old, I started pumping to prepare for returning to work as a full time teacher. Before long, my freezer was filling up and that’s when I became a donor on-line. Now that I am back at work, I feel comforted to know my son is being nourished with milk I am able to supply to him. I also treasure the bonding we have in the evenings when I am home. Even more, I get to be empowered by the opportunity to share my milk with other babies in need. I know there are many situations where breastfeeding can be a challenge. I am excited to be a donor and to share in the amazing privilege of being a milk donor.
Nicole “Mega Milker” Maddox – Connecticut It didn’t take long after I dressed my 1 1/2 month old child in 6-9 month clothing to realize the truth in what others had been saying to me – I must have some power-packed breast milk! And since I ended up throwing away 32 oz of milk per day with my first child, I knew that my new baby, Bryce, would never be able to keep up with his over productive mother either. Although I knew that I didn’t want throw away more milk again, I was told by many that donating milk was not likely an option in the United States. Finally, after waking up one morning with breasts full enough to feed the entire neighborhood, I decided to look it up for myself. I was thrilled to see that I could turn my seeming problem into a benefit for babies in need! I’m proud to be a “Milkin’ Mama”…and thrilled to reclaim all the space in my freezer! No longer crying over spilt milk.