Granted, there are emergencies that lead moms to request for donor's milk but it must be emphasized that requests for donor's milk should only be made one time and is really not a sustainable practice. Moms need to learn that they are responsible for their own babies' consumption and not too rely on other moms' milk.
As a full time working mom, expressing milk through pumping is a TRIAL I have to go through EVERYDAY to provide enough milk for my baby. Yes, I pump everyday including weekends to make sure my supply is enough for E who is growing bigger and drinking more! Plus, I do not have a private office so I pump at my desk with a nursing cover (in full view of 5 other people) or in our pantry.
Do you think I enjoy pumping? No, I don't but I know my body and based on past experiences, I know that I have to pump as soon as I wake up PLUS schedule 4 pumping sessions during the work day to make sure that my milk supply does not dry up. I also need to pump once each day on Saturdays and Sundays to make sure that my routine is not shaken up. PUMPING IS A ROUTINE! And to be successful, you need to keep your routine.
Because I have a small freezer, I cannot store a lot of milk which I can save for future use. Hence, I choose to donate it. My experiences donating Naima's milk had been pleasant. I donated to twins, triplets, preemies and milk banks. However, I cannot say the same for Erik's milk. There have been some demanding moms or friends of moms. After my post on PEDALA's milk delivery services, I received this email:
Do you deliver breastmilk? Where do you put your breastmilk? And the breastmilk which is Same day Delivery is good for 10 hours for an infant? Did I understand right?I replied with this - "Please read the post carefully. I don't deliver the milk. It is PEDALA who picks up and delivers the milk. "
Then the writer replied with this:
Oh. You had a different understanding with my message. I know that the PEDALA bikers are the ones who deliver the milk. But what if you dont have a donor? Do you offer suggestions for a donor?To which I answered - Sorry, I don't offer suggestions for a donor. PEDALA also doesn't offer suggestions of a donor. Thanks!"
She then sent me this reply - "Thank you very much for the very approachable way of answering my questions. Helping a mother in need of breastmilk for a baby."
I don't think I deserved the sarcasm. Plus, if you read the email thread, I do not see how I had a different understanding of the first email. She was CLEARLY asking ME if I deliver breastmilk to which I answered NO. Email messages like this frustrate me. Sometimes, I'd like to share information about breastfeeding or breastmilk but some people expect that things will be readily available and they want to be spoon-fed with everything. Let me repost this note from Human Milk for Human Babies - The Philippines on Etiquette of Milk Recipients.
If you are asking for breastmilk, you must know how difficult it is to express milk and fill up that milk bag you will be receiving. Breastmilk is made with love and care. Donor moms also pack their milk with love and care. For people asking for breastmilk, please read the following guidelines:As I end, let me emphasize, I am happy that I am able to provide enough for my baby E and able to donate some extra milk. I do have a hierarchy of babies I give milk to - first would be the sick or premature babies then multiples and milk banks, then for emergencies, e.g. mom got sick, etc. If your baby is healthy and you just cannot pump enough milk, ASKING FOR MILK is not sustainable - you need to bring up your own supply (and I have previously written how to do it here).
1. When you say you will pick-up the milk, please do pick-up the milk. If you promised to pick-up at a certain date and time, please text or email the donor if you will be late or can't make it. Do not pick up late at night. Donors are also mothers with families. BE SENSITIVE!
2. If you fail to pick up the milk at a certain date, CONTACT the donor first if the milk is still available. IT IS THE DONOR'S OPTION to give the milk to another recipient if you cannot pick up on the date you stated.
3. AT THE VERY LEAST, please replace the milk bags that the donor gives you. Milk bags are also purchased by the donor so please replace them so the donor can continue giving milk to other needy babies. (I'd like to add to this - did you know that Fabella charges P200 per OUNCE of milk? So really, the least you can do is to REPLACE the milk bags. The donor moms have the right to charge for their own breastmilk - they just choose not to do so.)
4. Be prepared when you pick up. Bring clean coolers. Donors prepared their milk with care and do not want the milk to be thrown out because of improper transport.
5. Do not ask the donor to text you if she has more milk. It is YOUR OBLIGATION to monitor the HM4HB Page if there are more milk offers posted.
Remember, it is not the donor's obligation to give you milk.
Also, I'd like to remind you that I am not a cow. Pumping is hard work and is a hassle. So, before you ask me for milk, please think - are you pumping as many times as I do? I am a mother of 2 young children. So that pumping won't take my time away from them, I wake up EXTRA EARLY in the mornings so I can squeeze in some pumping time while they are slumbering. Pumping is a sacrifice which I make for MY OWN CHILD. So please do not ask me to include your child in that sacrifice. IT IS YOUR JOB as the mom to make that sacrifice for your own child.