Repeating a Priceless Gift
They say that love is even sweeter the second time around. For Anjali from Frisco, Texas, this also rings true for donating breastmilk. After her first son, Prem, was born in November 2014, Anjali had a growing reserve of extra milk in her freezer and a fierce determination not to throw it away. Online research connected Anjali to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas and her journey of helping other babies began.
Then in 2016, Anjali started donating breastmilk for the second time. Prem was almost 2 when brother Raj arrived early at 32.5 weeks on August 9, weighing only 2.5 pounds. “Raj’s premature birth came out of nowhere, especially because I had no concerning history or complications,” she said. Anjali was able to pump milk for Raj and it was a huge relief when he gained weight quickly and was discharged earlier than expected after only one month in the NICU.
For a long time, Raj only took one ounce per feeding, 8 ounces total each day. However, Anjali was pumping a lot more than Raj needed. Again, she wanted her excess milk to go to good use. She says, “The milk bank’s screening process was so easy and straightforward and I knew there were many babies in the NICU who could use it.”
Since Raj’s birth this past summer, Anjali has donated more than 700 ounces by loading up her cooler with frozen breastmilk and dropping it at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, one of MMBNT’s 42 depots. Her milk is transported to MMBNT where it is thawed, pasteurized and poured into bottles for the fragile babies who need it most.
As a repeat donor, Anjali has donated a total of 2,164 ounces so far, potentially providing more than 6,400 feedings. She says, “I’m a strong believer in breastmilk and the benefits it provides, especially for premature infants like Raj. It’s a great feeling and such an honor that I am able to do this for other babies.”
For more information about becoming a donor, click here.