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Old 09-29-2011, 02:01 AM
mshell230 mshell230 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 101
Total Points: 32,429.34
Donor Breastmilk.

I know this is off subject of the main forum, but I was wondering if any of you have used donor breastmilk, and what service you used. I am mostly considering using breast milk because of the benefits in nutrition. I am a NICU nurse and wouldn't feel right if I didn't give some breast milk because of all the numerous known benefits. Im sure that inducing lactation would be a great bonding experience, Im just not sure it is for me, although I am researching it. We chose adoption over fertility treatments, because of all the medications involved and I feel that is why inducing would not be successful for me because I have the more natural mindset. Any thoughts are appreciated.
I do know the costs of donor breastmilk is extremely high and I would not be able to afford it for a long period of time.
What are you thoughts about using donor milk via Lacti-aid for several weeks? would that alone possibly induce lacation? Side note-not sure im comfortable with having donor milk on my breast, but I just have lots of thought about it.
Thanks for the input.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:47 AM
ruth74 ruth74 is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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I am using donor breastmilk with C. I absolutely can't afford to buy breastmilk; I connected with a lovely woman (my new "breast friend"; we call our kids "bosom buddies", but that's just because we're weird) through Human Milk for Human Babies. You can find them on facebook, and many if not most states have chapters. All they do is connect people who have extra milk with people who need it, they don't do any testing or anything. What you choose to do is up to you and the donor. I got to know our donor and feel totally comfortable that she is safe. C did not do well without any breastmilk, so it's been a lifesaver; we get about 1/3 of what he consumes from her. I did try to induce and was not successful, but I also am single and had no notice he was coming, so I had less to put into it than others may. For us the donor milk works great, and because it's free we will be able to keep it up as long as she is breastfeeding (she expects until her daughter, who is a month younger than C, is about 18 months).
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:23 PM
rd200 rd200 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,033
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I ended up using breastmilk from my sister and from a lady i know at church. I know they are free from diseases, and they were both nursing their own children at the time and were almost done nursing. They continued to pump for me for a few weeks. He had almost all breastilk for the first 4 months between all of us. I induced lactation. Even tho i didnt have much miilk, it was a great experience and i would do it again. yes, you should get a little milk production just from having the baby at your breast. It wont be much, but just from the stimulation, it should kick your body into thinking it needs to produce something. good luck, Rach
Married DH and had a handsome son

Adoption journey took 2 years, but was
well worth the wait. Welcomed home a
precious baby boy. Now a family of 4!!!

Pursuing embryo adoption to complete
our family!!!
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:18 PM
noelani2 noelani2 is offline
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I used the Lact-Aid with all of my kids, for at least a while. I had little or no time to prepare in advance, and just started nursing on demand when they came home. I started producing milk in a few days and then it increased, slowly, until whenever the demand started to decrease. It was really hard to tell how much was there, but I think I had about four ounces after a month or so and then worked up to probably 12 ounces with some of them and 16 with one of them. Some moms who just have the suckling to stimulate milk production produce more than I did, but my response was in the average range. I tried Reglan (metoclopramide), but it made me so depressed that I had to stop taking it. It didn't even help my milk supply much. If I'd had a way to get domperidone, back then, I would have liked to try it. However, the amount of milk they got from me was definitely beneficial and worth all of the effort. The experience of nursing them was something I will always treasure, and would have been well worth the effort for, even if they hadn't gotten any milk from me.

As far as donated milk, I was just lucky to find someone, with each of my babies, to donate some amount of milk for at least a few weeks. It was never a lot, but usually another four ounces or so a day, in addition to what I was producing (with my 3rd through 6th kids). I really feel like, for a baby who tolerates one of the highest quality formulas, getting even a few ounces of breast milk, in addition to formula, is much, much better than formula alone. I think the biggest benefit is immunological. There are formulas that now have probiotics, which are good for immune function, but nothing is as good at protecting the health of human babies as the immune factors in human milk.

It took me several years to learn that. When my first son was born, in 1983, I had been told that even an ounce of formula would negate the benefits of breastfeeding. That is one reason I didn't get farther with nursing him. With my second son, I got a very dramatic lesson on the benefits of a little bit of human milk. He was four weeks old when we got him. He had a very weak suck. He couldn't get hardly anything from the Lact-Aid, or from a bottle with the Nuk nipples I had used with his brother. When I tried to nurse him, it felt like a little butterfly fluttering against me. I wish I had known more about it, then, because I now wonder if he might have had ankylglossia or high palate, or something like that. What I was told, at the time, was "oh well, sometimes when they have been on bottles, that happens".

He was a miserable baby, who screamed for hours on end. I wouldn't have believed a baby could scream that much, had I not lived through it. He didn't gain weight well and was behind on his development. The only thing the ped could find was that he had ear infections that would never quite heal. I thought the antibiotics were burning his system, too. After three months of doing what the ped said, and having him be miserable, I decided it was time to try something I had been wanting to do, but he said not to, which was get some donated breast milk. One day, soon after I had decided to look for breast milk for him, I was talking to someone at our local pool. She was there with a friend, who happened to be nursing a baby. She was a lawyer and was very skilled at hand-expressing her milk (before there were any portable, decent pumps that working moms could use). She said she would be happy to share some milk with us. The first day that he got four ounces of her milk, I saw a difference. I also stopped the antibiotics right before that. He continued getting 4-6 ounces of her milk per day, in addition to Nutramigen. In two weeks, his ears were completely clear. He stopped the constant screaming and started smiling and playing and catching up on his development. He kept getting some of her milk for about 4 or 5 months. It was a very strong statement on the benefits of breast milk! When we got our third baby, I felt like, even if i could only produce four ounces a day, it would be well worth the effort. That helped me hang in there during the challenging times.

I'm really glad that there are opportunities now for moms with babies who need breast milk to find moms who have more than their own babies need, and are willing to share. I'm not really comfortable with the idea of buying milk from total strangers. I have heard of it going for as much as $4 an ounce. I am sure that it would usually be fine but, whenever money is involved, there is a potential for abuse. I think the best is for the milk to be donated and then for the family that benefits from it to be generous with gifts.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
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