Milk Bank Luncheon will Feature Popular Mom Blogger, January Harshe

Milk Bank Luncheon will Feature Popular Mom Blogger, January Harshe

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 Wednesday, September 30, 11:30 a.m.

Ridglea Country Club, Fort Worth, Texas 76116

$65 general seating

REGISTER HERE

screen shot 6January Harshe from Birth Without Fear is joining Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to celebrate motherhood and the miracle of donor human milk on September 30 in Fort Worth. The event will commemorate the super powers of mothers and raise funds for the milk bank’s charitable care program. Executive Director of MMBNT, Amy Vickers says, “Many women don’t know how strong they are until they experience pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. At the milk bank, we are surrounded by superhero mothers who help save sick babies with their extra breastmilk. It’s truly amazing to know what moms are capable of.”

preemie-feetAustin-based mom of 6, January Harshe developed her organization, Birth Without Fear, to give moms a voice through social media. She has gained a loyal following from hundreds of thousands of mothers (and dads) through her blog, Instagram and Facebook. Her Instagram page gained notoriety with the now infamous hashtag, #takebackpostpartum, starting a movement to praise and accept a woman’s natural body changes after childbirth. Calling the months immediately following birth, the fourth trimester, January says, “I want women to embrace every change and learn to love themselves as much as they love their babies.” She adds, “I am looking forward to meeting moms in Fort Worth in September and celebrate the life-saving work of Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.”

The luncheon will support the milk bank’s charitable care program, the Milk Money Fund, as well as support the organization’s permanent endowment fund. Money raised will ensure that all infants with a medical need for donor human milk will receive it, regardless of a family’s ability to pay for processing fees.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact us here:

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Consider an Unordinary Gift This Fall for an Extraordinary Cause

Consider an Unordinary Gift This Fall for an Extraordinary Cause

Wingo Pic 2-June 2015

Shannon O’Quin Wingo, R.D., L.D., IBCLC, RLC

Today, we welcome guest blogger, Shannon O’Quin Wingo, who has served on the Board of Directors for Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas for 6 years. Shannon is a registered dietitian and board certified lactation consultant who has worked for the Texas Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) program for 25 years. She is currently employed by Tarrant County Public Health as the WIC program Breastfeeding Coordinator. She is the founder and past president of the Tarrant County Breastfeeding Coalition and current chair of the Executive Committee of the Texas Breastfeeding Coalition.

Shannon and rest of the milk bank family are thrilled to participate in North Texas Giving Day on September 17, a one-day online giving event. Donations of $25 and more will earn bonus funds and money raised will support the milk bank’s charitable care program.

To raise awareness about the extraordinary impact of milk banking in North Texas, Shannon shares a story she wrote for Texas WIC News in the July/August 2013 edition:

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Kara and her daughters in 2013: Kalleigh, Kyndall & Keirstyn

Not an Ordinary Mother

Kara Nguyen is not an ordinary mother. Kara experienced something many mothers could never imagine. In 2007, her daughter, Kalista, just 9 months old, lost her battle to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which causes an infection of the lungs and breathing passages. RSV is a major cause of respiratory illness in young children.

Kara was breastfeeding Kalista and continued to express her milk even after Kalista passed. Kara learned about donor human milk and donated her expressed breastmilk to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. “I dropped off the milk at the Breastfeeding Support Center at HEB Methodist Hospital. I had to make two trips because it would not all fit in my car,” says Kara.CarmensTree2

Kara, a native of China who has lived in Texas since 1980, is a full-time mother and works a part-time job.

Still grieving six weeks after Kalista’s death, Kara experienced mixed emotions when she gave birth to another daughter, Keirstyn. In the years that followed, Kara was blessed with two more beautiful girls, Kalleigh (now 3 years old) and Kyndall (9 months old). Her oldest daughter, Thia, is 12 years old.

In March 2013, Kara told her WIC clinic staff that she had received an invitation from Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas to participate in the unveiling of a unique memorial to the smallest lives that helped the nonprofit organization.

Carmen's Tree

Carmen’s Tree Memorial

Known as Carmen’s Tree, the memorial is named for the baby of the milk bank’s first milk donor, Angela Mendoza, who chose to donate her breastmilk to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas after the death of her infant girl, Carmen, in July 2004. Carmen’s Tree is located on the entrance wall inside Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas at 600 West Magnolia Avenue in Fort Worth. Each leaf on the tree is dedicated to a donor’s baby, including the baby’s first name and birth date.

As I spoke to Kara about her experience, she wept. And so did I. She told me, “The WIC staff here in Euless, Texas, is my family. They have been with me through all of my baby girls’ lives.”

Kara still grieves over the loss of her Kalista. However she says she hopes by telling her story, it will reach other mothers who have experienced the same tragedy.

The Tarrant County Public Health WIC program and Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas would like to thank Kara Nguyen for her selfless donation of love to other little ones who may not have survived without the use of donated breastmilk. We are sincerely sorry for your tragic loss of Kalista and hope you will have peace in your heart.

***Update:  Since this story was published, Kara gave birth to twins, Kamden and Kaleb in September of 2014.  On May 9, 2015, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas held another dedication ceremony commemorating tiny, precious lives lost and the gift of donor milk.  To date, Carmen’s Tree displays over 250 leaves, each engraved with a baby’s name and birthdate.  

Texas WIC News is published every other month by the Department of State Health Services. Subscriptions are free. Issues can be viewed in pdf format on this Web page.

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“Donating My Breastmilk Is Truly a Highlight of My Life”

“Donating My Breastmilk Is Truly a Highlight of My Life”

Britt Bachmann shares her milk donor story, passion for breastfeeding and invaluable advice for other moms.

Britt's freezer stash

Britt’s freezer stash: 6 inch milk bags laid flat in gallon storage bags

Why did you decide to become a milk donor and what does donating mean to you?

I have been blessed with an abundant milk supply and view it as a gift that I can use to help babies and families in our community. I have spent a lot of time learning about the amazing powers of breastmilk to help children thrive. Breastfeeding is a protective factor against SIDS, infections, and diabetes and supports the immune system and brain development in babies. It also helps mothers lower their risk for breast, uterine, and ovarian cancers, as well as osteoporosis. With so many benefits to breastmilk, I want to do everything in my power to share the “liquid gold” that keeps our precious babies happy and healthy!

Donating my breastmilk is truly a highlight of my life and probably one of the most tangible ways I can help children. I view it as a great honor and privilege to have the opportunity and resources to be a donor.

How did you find out about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas (MMBNT)?

When I spoke to a Lactation Consultant shortly after my son was born, I mentioned the volume of milk I was producing and she told me I should consider donating to MMBNT. At that point, I had no idea whether I was producing more than average, but I quickly learned that I was on the high-end and my body was making more milk than my son could ever drink. Once I was able to build up a sizeable freezer stash, I was so excited to make my first donation to MMBNT! My son and I were welcomed with warm arms by the MMBNT staff and were introduced to the team, given a tour of the facility, and provided with supplies to help me with bagging and storing.

How was the screening process and how long have you been a donor?

The screening process was not difficult at all! MMBNT has streamlined it so all prospective donors need to do is complete the paperwork and submit to a blood test. MMBNT contacted both my obstetrician and my son’s pediatrician, so there was very little for me to do during the screening process except keep pumping while awaiting my approval!

I have been a donor for about half a year. My goal is to donate 50,000 ounces or until my son self-weans. The personal stories of donors and recipients I hear about from MMBNT inspire me to keep pumping for as long as I’m able!

Where do you deliver your milk?

I usually deliver my frozen milk directly to MMBNT headquarters on Magnolia. However, during the icy days this winter and the stormy days this spring, we lost power at home quite a few times. I remember driving to the hospital in the middle of the night so I could pump there where they were able to maintain power through generators and deliver all of my frozen milk before my freezer began to defrost! I take my milk donation very seriously and make it my personal mission to never waste a drop.

Tell us about your baby and personal donor story.

My first child, a son, was born this winter and he has brought an incredible level of joy to my husband and me. He is so active, curious, engaged, and expressive. He has been walking around in his rolling walker since he was 4 months with no signs of slowing down!

I have been so incredibly lucky to have had a textbook pregnancy, easy birth, and healthy, full-term son. With such amazing blessings, I have been in a position to share my joy and good fortune with others. I worked diligently by nursing and pumping around-the-clock the first few months to build up my milk supply so that I would be able to donate to as many sweet babies as possible who needed mother’s milk during their first days and weeks of life. It brings me such fulfillment to imagine all of the lovely little ones who receive my milk and all of its antibodies, long-chain fatty acids, and other nutrients that help them to survive and grow during a most fragile time. As a new mother, I applaud other moms who choose donor breastmilk for their babies because I, too, would choose what is best for my child.

Do you have advice for other moms?

Please take advantage of a provision of the Affordable Care Act that provides free breast pumps to new moms! My health insurance gave me two electric breast pumps – one for home and one for work. MMBNT also provides free bagging and storage supplies, so donor moms don’t have to spend anything but their time pumping and storing! Another helpful tip I can offer is to pump frequently during the first 6-12 weeks. In addition to nursing, I was pumping 5-7 times per day during the early weeks. There’s no doubt it was tiring and time-consuming, but it helped me maintain an excellent supply that I continue to this day. Nowadays I only pump 3-4 times per day in between nursing my son. It might sound like a lot, but I use the time for quiet reflection, catching up on emails, or browsing the Internet on my phone. Also, drink a ton of water and try to keep your stress level to a minimum! Easier said than done, but I always notice a decrease in my supply when I haven’t consumed adequate water or am under considerable stress. As far as freezing goes, I recommend storing the milk in light-blocking bags that lay flat in your freezer. I usually put six 6-ounce milk bags in a gallon storage bag laid flat in my freezer. This way, you can stack bags upon each other and remove them easily when you are ready to make a donation.

The first 6 weeks are the most challenging for many first-time nursing mothers! Both you and your baby are new to nursing, so a “learning curve” is inevitable. My best advice is to not give up in the early stages because it gets easier every day. Do whatever you need to do to keep the breastfeeding relationship going – pump to keep your supply up, visit a lactation consultant or breastfeeding support group, use a shield, and experiment with different nursing positions.

Anything else you would like to share?

Thank you for sharing my donor story and for all of the wonderful work you do at MMBNT! By supporting nursing mothers and babies in North Texas through educational initiatives on the benefits of breastmilk and the prevention of SIDS through breastfeeding and safe sleeping environments, we can make our community one of the safest and healthiest places to raise children in Texas!

For more information about Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas and how to become a donor, click here.

 

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Breastmilk Collection Depot Now Available in Greenville, Texas

Breastmilk Collection Depot Now Available in Greenville, Texas

images-1Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas  has partnered again with Outreach Health Services to make breastmilk donations easier for moms in smaller communities. The milk bank’s 39th collection depot is located at 4907 Stonewall Street in Greenville, Texas. Forty five miles east of Dallas, this depot now accepts breastmilk donations Monday through Thursday from 7-11:30 a.m. and 1-5:30 p.m.

Greenville stafffrom left to right: Brianna, Martha, Melanie, Jackie (Elva, not pictured)

Greenville staff from left to right: Brianna, Martha, Melanie, Jackie (Elva, not pictured)

 

Outreach Health Services offers a variety of community health services including WIC services. WIC (Women, Infants and Children) offers nutritional and educational support to pregnant women, new mothers and young children. Breastfeeding peer counselor, Elva Seiler says, “We want to make sure that our moms who produce more milk than their babies need, don’t throw it away. They can bring it to us and we will ensure it helps save the lives of medically needy babies.”

IMG_0020Collection sites like the one in Greenville function as user-friendly and safe satellite donor milk storage facilities. Moms have the convenience of a drop off location close to home and milk is kept frozen before it is shipped to the milk bank for pasteurization. Once it arrives at the milk bank, donor milk is logged into a sophisticated bar code and tracking system and is then thawed, pasteurized and tested for bacteria. Processed milk is then dispensed by prescription to premature and critically ill infants in tamper resistant bottles.

Community depots like the one in Greenville have the milk bank on track to process over half a million ounces of donor milk in 2015. For a complete list of depot locations, click here. To contact the Outreach Health Services depot in Greenville, call 903-454-4888.

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Superhero Milk Donor

Superhero Milk Donor

Feeding Twins AND Donating to Medically Needy Babies

Lacey, age 28, has been donating breastmilk to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas for about 14 months.  This, in itself is nothing short of amazing.  However, Lacey is also feeding twins, Rocco and Marbeya, a feat not possible for a lot of moms out there. Lacey is what we call an overproducer, which fits the profile of most of our donor moms. Instead of throwing away her oversupply, she donates it to help premature and critically ill infants.  To us, Lacey is a superhero . . . a theme that will become more prevalent at the milk bank in the months to come. (So, stay tuned!)

Lacey – Graham, Texas

How did you find out about the milk bank?
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13 days old in the NICU

I found out about MMBNT because I had our twins at Baylor All Saints and I was pumping for them. They were in the NICU for a month and I had an oversupply of milk. I donated almost 800 ounces when we left the NICU after the first month. The nurses kept telling me I should donate since I had so much extra milk.

Was the approval process difficult?

The screening process was not a big deal at all. I had blood drawn by the hospital and that was it!

Do you have any advice for other moms about pumping?
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6 months old

I rented a hospital grade pump and I have had it since day one. I could not have been as successful without this thing. I am an exclusive pumper and the rented pumps are worth every penny if you can afford to do it. I pump for 30 mins at a time, four times a day. It helps to establish a schedule and stick to it as well as you can. And I wear my pumping bra at all times (under my regular bra) so that I can pump and drive or pump at work or whatever I need to do. ;). We recently went on vacation to Mexico without the twins and carried back over 2 gallons of milk. Pumping is just a way of life for me now and I plan to pump until my twins are at least two years old.

Tell us about Rocco and Marbeya.

They were born on April 7 2014 and have completely changed our lives. They are healthy and happy little babies who light up our lives.  They have been sick only one time but without even running a fever. They get breastmilk and homemade, organic foods only.

Do you have a good support system?
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Frank, Lacey and the twins last November

My husband has been so helpful and supportive. He made sure to feed me and wash all of the pumping supplies in all of the several brutal first months. I could not have made it without him. He still brings me my pumping supplies in the morning with my coffee. I am a blessed woman. So shout out to my super sweet hubby, Frank!

What does being a donor mean to you?
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June 2015

I enjoy being a donor because the twins were in the NICU weighing 3lbs 11 oz and 4lbs 6 oz. They had donor milk their first day or two and I am thankful for that. It has been a very rewarding experience for me to donate my extra milk because I know it makes a difference for sick and tiny babies in the hospital.

What is the largest amount you have pumped at one time?

 Oh, I pumped 32 oz of milk once in one session. Lol!  I’m half cow, apparently!

 

 

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