Last September 5, I posted about the first time I donated breastmilk. It was at the Mommy Milkshare Event at The Parenting Emporium. I was so proud of my small stash of five milk storage bags of around 5oz each, haha! Since Kobe started to sleep a bit longer at night last month, I was able to beef up my milk stash because of a nightly “extra pump” during the wee hours in the morning (between 2-4am). Kobe usually latches before going to bed and 1-2 times between 2-6am. People ask me why I pump at night – I do it (despite the urge to just sleep and rest) to keep my milk supply up and with the conscious thought of donating milk to those in need. Maybe it’s my ego trying to be somewhat of a modern-day hero – with the superpower of making milk!
I am very happy and proud to say that I was able to donate 10 milk bags to a friend in need last week, and 20+ milk bags to the PGH Milk Bank today. It’s the perfect way to celebrate Kobe’s 4th month!
The good thing about the PGH Milk Bank is that they can go to your house to pick up your milk donation. It saves you time and effort and of course lessens your worries of the milk thawing on the way to the center. I was happy to meet Ms. Grace and Ms. Tina (both lactation consultants) who came to our house to get my milk and to hand over the certificate in person.
I made a commitment to them that I will try my very best to donate monthly, especially since I learned that the PGH-NICU needs around 19 liters of breastmilk per day. That’s 642 ounces per day!!! Imagine, the milk stash I was able to “ipon” for one month is only 1/3 of their daily requirement.
I am very blessed that I am able to exclusively breastfeed Kobe, and I feel that it is just right for me to continue with that “extra pump” every night, no matter how tempting it is to sleep whenever my baby is asleep. That extra pump goes a long way, and as Ms. Grace said, “every ounce counts.” This modern-day hero may have the superpower of making milk, but I won’t be able to donate this much without the help of my “gadgets.” So here’s a list of what I use when expressing milk:
- Medela Freestyle Double Electric Pump – I love this breast pump! Ever since I started using it, my output increased by 1-2 ounces per pumping session. And I only pump 15 minutes max. Available at The Parenting Emporium.
- Milk Storage Bags – I have used different brands including Honeysuckle, Lansinoh, Sunmom, etc. and they are all good so far. I prefer double or triple zip closures to ensure no leakage. We don’t want that milk to spill!
- Hands-free Pumping Bra – This gives me the freedom to double pump with the least effort. I can even read a book while pumping. This also allows me to pump while driving (but I make sure to stop before and after pumping to set up and store my breast pump parts).
- Nursing Cover – I use this especially when pumping in public. Last Sunday, I even pumped during a get-together with my friends (the Sessionistas). They didn’t even know I was pumping until I told them! Aiza was wondering where the “humming” sound was coming from, hehe!
- Nursing Top – I have several nursing tops, which are useful not only when I directly feed Kobe, but also when pumping milk! My favorites are the ones from Elin.
- Cleaning Materials – I have a small container which I refill with bottle/nipple cleanser for when I can wash my breast pump parts. I also pack baby wipes for emergencies, a lampin for wipe-downs, and a large ziplock bag.
- Cooler Bag with Ice Pack – the good thing about the Medela Freestyle is that it comes with a cooler bag and ice pack, which can also fit inside the tote bag. This is to make sure the milk will remain cold until the time I can freeze it or feed it to my baby.
- Malunggay Supplements – I still continue to take Malunggay (Moringa) supplements to this day. I believe that it also helps in maintaining my milk supply. I currently take Mega-Malunggay 600mg capsules (Moringa Oleifera + Sodium Ascorbate) 2x a day.
UPDATED INFO: To all breastfeeding moms out there who wish to donate milk, you may contact Nurse Ruby of the PGH Milk Bank at 0905 640 9797.