Thanks for letting me share this message with your readers! I am happy to be working with Prolacta to help spread awareness about the need for donor breast milk to help the littlest babies.
What they don’t tell you about the NICU is how scary it can be. The moment my little boy was born, that moment that is supposed to be beautiful and so rewarding, he was whisked off down the hall with little explanation other than that something was wrong. Watching my baby struggle for oxygen hours later, when I was finally permitted to see him, was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.
I had always planned on nursing, at least in the beginning. We all know that breast milk is the best thing for our children when it’s possible. But in NICU care, things don’t go always the way we plan. When babies are extremely under weight (2 pounds 12 ounces or less), they need more than their mother’s milk to thrive. Once they are able to take milk, (either through a feeding tube or bottle), a fortifier is often added to breast milk to ensure the babies get as much nutrition as possible into their tiny stomachs. This fortifier is often derived from cow’s milk, which isn’t ideal.
There is a way that mothers all over the country can help these tiny babies. Helping Hands Milk Bank (Helping Hands) is a virtual milk bank that allows qualified donors to make breast milk donations from the comfort of their home. Prolacta Bioscience collects excess breast milk from mothers who donate through Helping Hands and processes it into a breast milk fortifier made from 100% human milk for critically ill, premature infants in NICUs. This fortifier helps prevent diseases that put the babies at risk, and increases their chance of survival.
The process is simple. Helping Hands allows busy mothers to apply online in about 15 minutes. Helping Hands supplies storage containers, and covers all shipping costs & supplies, so there is no out-of-pocket cost to the donor, and she doesn’t have to travel anywhere to donate her breast milk. I love this idea!
A few days after my son’s birth, I was finally able to nurse for the first time. We were blessed that he was a full term baby and able to get his nutrition from me fairly quickly. As soon as we got the hang of feeding, I got to take him home. He is now a healthy, happy kid full of energy. I met other moms during our NICU stay that had been in the hospital for weeks, without the positive outlook we had. If I could have done something to help them, I would have. I’m so glad to offer that chance to other moms out there.
If you are a nursing mother with excess milk, and are interested
in helping premature babies have their best chance at life, learn more about how to become a breast milk donor and apply.