When Naima was younger and my milk was plentiful, I used to donate milk to various persons/organizations, foremost of which is the UP-PGH's Milk Bank. I recently received an email from Dr. Jessa Sareno asking for milk donations for their NICU babies.
Dr. Jessa is one of the fellows at the PGH Neonatology Unit. I asked her why they had so many patients needing milk and I was wondering where the mothers were. She shared that usually, the mothers are discharged before the babies and go home - often to the South, e.g. Cavite. These moms are asked to express milk at home then visit their babies daily so they can leave the expressed milk and directly nurse their babies.
Sadly, however, the moms are unable to scrape up enough money for even just the jeepney fare to PGH. Thus, it often takes a week or so before the mom can come back to visit her baby. I would also imagine that even if moms are asked to express milk at home, most of them are not able to do so because of lack of storage facilities or the need to go back to work (with no milk expression time/facilities) to provide for the needs of their other children. Thus, the never-ending request by the UP-PGH to ask lactating moms with excess milk to donate to their milk bank.
Meanwhile, for moms needing breastmilk, I was able to get some information about Fabella Milk Bank. You can purchase milk from their milk bank at the cost of P400 per 200ml. However, breastmilk is not always available as this depends whether they have ward mothers donating breastmilk. The milk is pasteurized and tested. Before you can buy however, you need to bring a medical abstract of your baby. The ward mothers are eager to donate breastmilk because donors receive a huge discount off their hospital bills. Sometimes, they only pay P50! To get in touch with the Fabella Milk Bank, call 734-5561 local 156.
Finally, because of this blog, I have been receiving numerous requests for milk and offers of excess milk. I had previously toyed with the idea of having a milk share page, where moms can meet up to discuss milk requirements - but never found the time to do so. I stumbled upon the Eats on Feets Global Network and with the help of the global founder, Emma Kwasnica, I was able to set up Eats on Feets Philippines - a facebook page. The Eats on Feets GLOBAL network chapter pages provide an online space to facilitate woman-to-woman milk sharing. Through this page, moms can post their requests and offers for milk and hook up with one another. I'm still looking for an administrator and if you're interested in becoming an administrator of this page, please do contact me. Check out the press release sent out by Emma early this morning: