How The Milk Bank Helps

Every mom’s worst nightmare – the stomach bug – hit their home, first with the preschooler. With hands-on involvement still required at that age, it wasn’t long before the 11 month old picked it up as well. After a day and a half of vomiting and diarrhea, he was seen at the ER and diagnosed as dehydrated. The nurses couldn’t get a vein for an IV of rehydration at that point. He received meds to stop the vomiting, was able to nurse and finally have a wet diaper, so was discharged. It was not a quick recovery. Baby Nathan wanted to nurse, of course, but Mom had been sleep deprived and stressed with sick kids. Baby Nathan typically received some solid foods each day, so her milk supply was naturally decreasing as well. Add in extenuating circumstances and she was having trouble keeping up with his sick baby/dehydration demands at the time. Baby Nathan refused formula. Soon after the ER visit, Mom came down with the stomach bug as well. Despite meds, she was still very sick but was determined to pump for him though she didn’t feel well enough to hold him and nurse at night. Enter friends and The Milk Bank.

Recipient of donated milk from The Milk Bank

A recent client (and personal friend) utilized the donated milk at The Milk Bank in a very helpful, but perhaps less thought of way. Through texts, Mom & Dad were able to get online and purchase/pay for donated breastmilk from The Milk Bank. This purchase was made at 9pm so obviously the office wasn’t open for pick up. Fortunately, another client/personal friend was able to help out with donated surplus breastmilk.

Fast forward a couple weeks and baby Nathan is just getting back to solid foods. At a recent doctor’s visit (to rule out ear infection), Dad learned that Nathan had only gained 1 oz in weight from his appointment the previous month. They were advised to give him formula if Mom couldn’t keep up with demand and if Nathan wasn’t consuming enough solids to add weight.

Elizabeth advised the client to get a prescription from their pediatrician in order to be able to purchase more breastmilk from The Milk Bank. At this time, the limit is 40 ounces can be purchased without a prescription. This allows monitoring of babies and ensuring at-risk babies have milk available. The pediatrician wasn’t forthcoming to give a prescription. Mom had to take baby Nathan back for a weight check with their regular doctor and finally received the prescription.

The Milk Bank actually has a person who will advise pediatricians and be available for consultation and to answer questions in these cases. At a time when there are still formula shortages in some areas, they are working to prevent any hesitation to make safe breastmilk available to a child. This mom utilized this contact to get what she needed for her baby. Baby Nathan gained 6 ounces between his weight checks, making him out of the woods. She had to continue purchasing the milk to keep him on track for normally expected weight gain, and he still won’t drink formula consistently. She received an Rx after purchasing 20 ounces, and went on to receive 60 more ounces.

Lactation Care with Elizabeth aspires to educate and partner with other providers to ensure they have the information they need to feel comfortable supporting families and their infant feeding needs. It takes time and there are a lot of providers! We hope to make families aware of resources available for babies that aren’t premature or medically at-risk in the traditional sense. The Milk Bank can be a resource for short term supplementation in situations of illness, medical procedures, emergencies, travel, and so forth. Use them!

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