New moms will know (or learn very quickly) that lactating can be a difficult process. Making sure your newborn has the food he or she needs to grow in those first few critical months is very important. Not having an easy time providing that food can vastly increase stress, making it even more difficult. But there are other options available. One woman has donated a whopping 62 gallons of breast milk to those who find it difficult to lactate.
Katy Bannerman had a rare problem — she was producing too much breast milk during the coronavirus pandemic. So much, in fact, that she had nearly 8,000 ounces to spare. But that’s not to say it was always easy. She struggled the same way other moms do when her first child was born. Before her second child was delivered, she planned a visit to a private lactation consultant, after which she quickly began to see a surplus in milk.
Donation seemed like the most prudent course.
Bannerman said, “That was kind of my intended recipient, some who had themselves struggled with breastfeeding, for one reason or another. I was so happy to be able to donate. At one point I had consistent people that I would donate to, they would come by every week.”
Trouble lactating isn’t the only reason that would-be parents might need support, though. Bannerman received countless requests for milk from adoptive parents, and at least one set of parents had a child who was born with a need for extra nutrients. Bannerman’s supply was notorious for its high level of fat, and she was able to save the day.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should be breastfed for at least six months after birth. Sadly, only about a quarter of newborns actually are, sometimes due to a parent’s choice, or sometimes due to lactation ability.
Are you willing to donate surplus breast milk? Reaching out to new parents is the first step!