This mother of two, pumps more than a gallon of breast milk in a day but she is not complaining. She calls it a “labor of love.”
Elisabeth Keturah Anderson-Sierra has a rare condition known as hyperlactation syndrome which causes her to produce an oversupply of breast milk. Her supply comes out fast and forcibly making it very difficult for the baby to nurse well.
Just after the birth of her second daughter, Anderson Sierra rather than waste all the extra milk, decided to do something else…
She signed up to donate milk through Tiny Treasures Milk Bank. The premature babies get all the nutritional benefits of breast milk. After realizing now much extra milk she was pumping, she thought that she could give some of it away for free.
Now she donates about 1.75 gallons of breast milk in a day and since she first started she has donated over 78,000 oz of breast milk. The milk bank receives half of her milk and pays her 1 dollar per oz of qualified milk. The other half is given away freely to local mothers.
Since the funds are taxed, she looses 50% of what she earns. The free milk is donated for free to local mothers. And when someone asked why you don’t give it all away for free she broke it down in a viral post.
She explains: “Many mothers want me to just give my milk freely to them when they cannot provide enough simply because I have so much. Yes I do have a lot to give, but I can’t freely feed all the babies.”
She revealed the truth behind the hidden side of breast milk donation:
“I have burned through 8 medela pumps and I’ve invested in two Symphony pumps as well as Spectra and PJs comfort. Pumps are not cheap, she writes.”
Here’s the breakdown of everything that goes into milk donation:
- Purchase bags for locally donated milk: 20-40 bags used daily
- 2 Pumping bras for support and compression: washed daily
- Disposable breast pads: changed at every pump
- Nipple Creams
- Replacement pump parts and bottles every 3 months
- Time washing and sterilizing equipment (in order to donate to micro preemies)
- 3 Sterilizers and 10 sets of pump parts
- 3 Freezers for milk storage
- Extra food, bottled water with electrolytes
- Time spent keeping up with milk bank qualifications, preparing milk bags and ensuring equipment meets high standards.
“I can’t even take a pump off!” She explains, “I’m not complaining, this is my choice and I truly love what I do. But I feel the donors side is rarely talked about.”
What do you think?