Benefits of donating breast milk
Donating breast milk isn’t beneficial just for the recipients, it has a number of advantages for the donor mother as well.
Your breasts feel lighter
Producing more milk than your baby needs can make your breasts feel full and hard. They may feel lumpy and more tender than usual. In some cases, the swelling may affect the armpits as well. As the milk collects, the condition gets more painful. An overabundant supply of breast milk may also plug the ducts causing swelling, redness and localized pain.
Donating breast milk can make your breasts feel more comfortable and, in turn, make you feel better. By doing this, you will also have fewer leakage issues to deal with.
Reduced Risk of Mastitis
Mastitis refers to an infection in the breasts. It is a common condition and can affect up to 20% of lactating mothers. Mastitis is associated with pain, swelling in the breasts, fever, flu-like symptoms, tiredness, nausea and body aches. Over-production of breast milk that is not drained away is one of the common causes of this condition. It can also be caused by plugged milk ducts and engorged breasts- both side effects of overproduction of breast milk. In some cases, medication may be needed to treat mastitis. However, by choosing to donate breast milk and pumping the extra breast milk, you can reduce the risk of mastitis.
Breastfeeding gets easier
Overproduction of breast milk is often associated with a strong let-down reflex. This means the milk is released in a strong jet. Your baby may choke or gag on this and have difficulty breathing and feeding simultaneously. Your baby may also end up swallowing a lot of air while feeding. In addition, breast engorgement may make it difficult for the baby to latch on while feeding. All of this can make breastfeeding frustrating for you and your baby. Pumping out the extra milk for breast milk donation between feeds can regulate the force of milk. This makes breastfeeding more comfortable. It also allows you to breastfeed your baby while sitting or standing as opposed to being limited to breastfeeding while lying down.
Where to donate breast milk?
Breast milk donation is easy. Always donate your breast milk to authorized and regulated human milk banks. They will pasteurize the milk to keep it safe for babies and ensure that it reaches babies who need it. Though you may not know the baby who ultimately gets to drink your breast milk, you would have helped an infant grow stronger and stay healthy. Isn’t that a happy feeling.