Donate Your Breast Milk

Do you, for one reason or another, have more breast milk than your baby needs? Great. Donate it to babies who aren’t so lucky. From Time:

    The [International Breast Milk] Project was started by… Jill Youse, who discovered she was overproducing breast milk after giving birth to her daughter Estella last July. She had more milk in her first month of nursing than she would ever need.”I used to joke that I had enough breast milk to feed a continent,” says Youse, 29. “I had a ton of it and I didn’t know what to do.” She and her husband Jeremy, a resident at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, knew the nutritional value of breast milk and Youse felt an emotional connection to it as well. She didn’t want to dispose of it. So with her freezer filled to capacity, she went online to find uses for the extra milk. Breast millk can be kept frozen for several months, even longer in a subzero freezer.

Jill ended up starting the International Breast Milk Project, which sends tested and pasteurized breast milk to orphanages in Africa. So if you’ve got some extra milk, why not send it? —MEGHANN MARCO

Putting Breast Milk to Good Use [Time via Freakonomics Blog]

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  1. MissPinkKate says:

    Huh, who knew that was possible.

  2. TVarmy says:

    Hey! That’s my cousin’s wife! Now I feel bad for not sending in this tip. It didn’t seem quite like the sort of thing you guys usually post, though.

  3. aestheticity says:

    But… frozen milk goes funny. At least mine always seems to, it all separates out into its constituents, you shake it back up but its not the same. I guess it’s all still in there, and starving babies aren’t going to complain.

  4. Magicube says:

    I just heard that a friend of mine heard of this so offered her, er, “overstock” on craigslist. Boy was that a bad idea. Every perv on the planet was emailing her.

  5. VA_White says:

    @aethesticity: They pasteurize the breastmilk, killing any microbes and keeping the milk from separating. It is not quite as good for babies as fresh breastmilk but it is sanitary and still better than formula.

  6. infinitysnake says:

    Magicube, there was a book out years ago, with all the letters “Dear Abby” had received that were unfit to print…one of the funniest was from the woman who had been selling her milk to another family for months before the guy called her up, admitted it was all for him, and asked if he could just come by and ‘get it from the source.’ (The funniest was the mortician’s wife who wrote in asking if it was normal for her husband to want her to bathe in ice water before sex…)

  7. acambras says:

    It makes me think of that show “Providence.” While making New England clam chowder, a family member reaches into the fridge, inadvertently grabs a bottle of breast milk, pours it into the chowder, and of course hilarity ensues. People end up loving the clam chowder and the baby’s mom adds her excess breast milk to subsequent batches of chowder — a special “secret ingredient.”

  8. infinitysnake says:

    Well, less gross than clams, I guess… ;-)

  9. aestheticity says:

    There are breast milk pervs? Learn something every day.

  10. Musician78 says:

    That is nasty as hell.

  11. It is not quite as good for babies as fresh breastmilk but it is sanitary and still better than formula.

    I heard that breastmilk actually provides some protection against malaria for the baby but I can’t seem to find anything online to back that up.

  12. etinterrapax says:

    Breastmilk offers a ton of immune benefits, though I don’t know about malaria specifically. As for breast milk pervs, am I the only one who saw that horrific episode of CSI?

    It used to be extremely common for women to breastfeed babies other than their own. The idea that it’s gross is a twentieth-century invention.

  13. infinitysnake says:

    Yeah, I don’t get that. I remember there was a lawsuit a couple years back after a woman who was babysitting another woman’s (breastfed!) baby fed it while Mom was away, and she freaked.

  14. The idea that it’s gross is a twentieth-century invention.

    I thought Musician78 was calling the breastmilk clam chowder gross. That’s what quotes are for Musician78!

  15. SharkJumper says:

    I’m a new father, and boy is my wife jealous of those women who can produce extra breastmilk. Not to mention the impact to the pocketbook. Formula is already costing us about $100/month.

    Anyway, while we’re on the subject of donations, one thing that we found out a little too late was that there are organizations that will accept cord blood donations to be used in stem cell research and transfusions.

    We’d been hounded almost weekly from some organization that wanted to charge us several thousand dollars to harvest and store the cord blood “just in case” our baby had some life-threatening illness down the road. We only found out toward the end of the pregnancy that there are organizations that will do the collection procedure for free if you’re donating it. Anyway, just FYI if you’re expecting.

  16. Musician78 says:

    I wasn’t quoting anyone, just posting my general thoughts on the topic at hand. Didn’t read all the opther posts on it, lol.

  17. ladylike4 says:

    This is harder than it appears. To donate your milk in my area they make you go have a multitude of blood tests all of which I was unwilling to do. I am healthy, but I don’t like needles.

    I tossed probably 2 gallons of milk when my daughter was 6 months old. She basically never used a drop of frozen milk.