Mum-of-Two Has Donated over 2000 Litres of Breast Milk Over Two Years
A new mum has no idea how much breastmilk her body will produce until she has her darling baby in her arms. The production and supply of breastmilk can be stressful for mums whose bodies aren’t able to produce enough. While this can be awfully frustrating, thank goodness for milk banks and formula!
But what happens when a mum has too much breastmilk?
Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra, 29, from Oregon, is one of those mums who produces more breastmilk than the average woman. Her rare condition called Hyerlactation Syndrome means she can produce 1.75 gallons (just under 7 litres) of breastmilk per day. This is 10 times the average supply for most breastfeeding mums.
The mum of two has donated more than 600 gallons (approximately 2271 litres) of breastmilk to help hundreds of parents feed their babies. She keeps enough supplies to feed her own baby, but donates the rest to families in need.
The mum spends around 5 hours a day pumping her breastmilk. She spends between 8 and 10 hours storing, labelling, and sterilizing so the breastmilk can be donated and used by other families.
Elisabeth told the Daily Mail, ‘I realized I was an overproducer when I was pregnant with my first child, but when I had my second baby my supply ramped up.
‘Now Sophia is six months old I pump five times a day – as soon as I wake up, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and again at midnight.
‘I produce up to 0.625 gallons of milk during my first pump alone.
‘Pumping is not fun – it is uncomfortable and it hurts – but it is my labor of love.
‘I’ve not had a day off in two-and-a-half years; it’s more than a full-time job.’
Despite the time involved in producing and donating the milk, she does it because she loves to see other babies thrive. The instant gratification is what spurs her to continue to donate.
Elisabeth explains, ‘It will have helped thousands of children. The milk at the milk bank goes to micro pre-emies, so just 1 fl oz can feed three or four babies.
‘I don’t discriminate – I have donated to gay couples and to mothers who are on medication or had their breast removed due to breast cancer.’
Half of her milk is picked up from her house by local mums and couples, who will compensate her for her time, while the other half of the supplies are donated to California milk bank, Prolacta Bioscience.
The money Elisabeth gets paid from her donations of breastmilk goes towards equipment and extra storage supplies for her milk. She doesn’t profit from her donations.
She’s thankful she is able to help so many babies with her milk.
‘It’s an amazing feeling.’