This keeps coming up so I feel like I need to put what I know (which is very little) out into the public sphere. I have seen an uptick of Charlottesville interest in both donating extra breast milk and in using donor milk.
To be very clear, I do not know enough about using donor milk to give much information about this practice. But, because I do believe human milk is a superior infant food to formula, I think families need to take this option seriously and do their research on what is best for their situation. I wanted to share the places I have heard of to give interested families a smaller headache when approaching this option.
First are the Milk Banks. Start at the Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
Second is MilkShare. They have a Yahoo Group to help families connect to one another.
Third is this story about Lynn Page who donated 56 gallons (!!!) of breast milk. It was this article that just ran in Oprah Magazine that made me realize how past time it is for this option to be discussed more openly. Not discussed only by families, but taken seriously by insurance companies and health care providers (see the follow up articles, same link).
The fourth thing is to simply call your local lactation consultants, hospital-based or not and ask them what they know. Be ready for the spectrum of answers but chances are, they will be helpful.
And the more I looked up web addresses, the more information I came across. If you have a great tip for a mother out there, go ahead and post it here as well as to whatever site for which you probably also should post a testimonial!
I can't put up enough disclaimers: do your research and take responsibility for what ever choice you make for your family. I am not in a comfort zone as I discuss this, partly because much of the activism I do with breastfeeding has absolutely nothing to do with this topic. It is hard enough to support women trying to breastfeed their own children in our culture, it is another thing to monitor the practices of women who choose to donate or use donated milk. But if you, dear reader, are searching in the night for resources that have been helpful to other people, I wanted you to know that you are not alone in your efforts. Many many families choose this option. Connect with them and hear their stories. They ARE out there.