Bountiful Milk Supply Enables Grateful Mother to Give Back
June 16, 2020
As a self-described “physician mommy,” Frances went back to work as a full-time rheumatologist and full-time pumping mama three months after her daughter, Isabella, was born in March 2019. The journey of those first 90 days started with a lot of stress and uncertainty.
Within an hour of birth, Isabella was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas’ NICU because of respiratory distress, making skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding impossible. After 3 days, Isabella recovered and through determination and a bridge of donor milk, Frances not only started breastfeeding successfully, she ended up becoming a milk donor to give back to other babies and their families.
Frances’ milk supply was more than Isabella needed and she remembered learning about donating from the NICU nurses in the hospital. She contacted Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to start the screening process. She says, “I became a donor to express my gratitude and to participate in this wonderful community of loving mamas who help feed sick babies during their most vulnerable time of need at birth, and correspondingly to help support those babies’ mommies.”
Frances credits her husband, Kyle, who helped from the beginning by “proudly delivering each drop of ‘liquid gold’ to the NICU on Mommy’s behalf.” She says, “He washed and sterilized bottles and pump parts daily for an entire year, and fully supported my decision to donate Isabella’s surplus milk.”
Her advice to new donors?
- Label the date and quantity on the breastmilk storage bag with a Sharpie marker first, allowing the ink to dry before opening it.
- Place the empty milk bag upright in a tall drinking cup to keep it stable and sterile when filling it with milk.
- For accuracy, measure the number of ounces in a bottle before pouring it in the storage bag.
- Lay the filled, sealed storage bag flat in a Tupperware container before freezing. Frozen, flat bags can be stored more efficiently.
- Plan ahead how you want to organize and categorize the bags to help save space.
Frances found the milk bank’s pick-up courier service very convenient and says she would like to donate again if Isabella has a sibling.