26th May 2022

I first heard of the milk bank through working as an intensive care nurse in neonates but when I had my first baby I never really thought about it until I went to a support group and one of the volunteers handed me a leaflet. I had an over supply and found expressing once a day help settle this and allow for the symptoms my baby was showing to settle to that’s when I first donated with my first boy 8 and half years ago he was a big boy but never got any donation pictures with him. I donated regularly for 9 months. When I had my second I got started donating again straight away I donated for 9 months with her too. Since having my second I developed a second role within my job were I was now a senior NICU nurse and ran an infant feeding team supporting mother’s with sick and premature babies, teaching and educating staff whilst also sign posting mothers and staff for donation if required. I was also responsible for ordering and monitoring¬† the donor milk we use for our babies. You soon realise how much milk is really required and really respect the time and effort from both volunteers, milk bank staff, blood bikers and most of all that there is a story behind each and every donation. If ever our NICU required donor milk we could receive it unbelievably quick in such a seamless process. Now with my 3rd boy since again I knew I wanted to donate so quickly got started and I was easily able to maintain and donated a much larger volume than I could previously and since starting much sooner and knowing a lot of what to do. When my boy was 8 weeks old I sat a 4 hour exam to become a lactation consultant and now I’m still on maternity leave and still donating and will do til he’s 1 years old.

Although it can be time consuming especially having 3 kids and a husband who’s forever working, I have built expressing within to my daily routine and although if I travel I still express and sadly discard the expressed milk it has allowed my body to remember and maintain a slightly similar volume most days I know it’s worth it and something I can give to those who need it the most while I enjoy this memory and bond I have with my own baby 💞