15th November 2017
I gave birth to Esta via C Section at 37.5 weeks. I had planned to breastfeed beforehand but this being my first child had no solid expectations of how things would run. Luckily for us we were able to and when Esta was a few weeks old and I felt confident I contacted the milk bank about donations. The whole team were fantastic. They gave advice on everything I needed to know, told me about the whole process start to finish (including what happened to my milk!) asked a few questions and within days I had my pack – bottles, steriliser equipment, thermometer and marker pens along with a really helpful guide and a chart to complete. I was really impressed with everything.
Once I was all signed up I was very fortunate that Esta slept from about 8pm till 2am before she woke for a feed and this is when I chose to express, before bed. I used a mix of a hand pump and an electric one. One night I’d freeze for Esta and the next for the milk bank. It was a great way to ensure we had back up milk when we needed it and to know I was giving something back at the same time. That was the great thing about donating. Any amount helps and it is flexible to fit in with you.
Every time a driver would collect, they were friendly, chatty and always took the time to thank me and say hi to Esta. I was amazed to hear that these guys were volunteers too.
By the time we’d finished we’d donated 15 litres. I was delighted with how much we’d been able to give that otherwise would have gone to waste. We started this process wanting to help babies who need that extra help at the start of their life and we really feel like we’ve been able to do that.
The whole team a NWHMB are fantastic and I’d recommend all breastfeeding mums to consider donating.