As an assistant professor at Louisiana Tech University that teaches animal science and nutrition, I talk a lot about feeds that are best for livestock animals. I try to relate a lot to human nutrition. When discussing young livestock animals and the importance of their mother’s milk, I advocate for breastfeeding and the impact it has on human babies.
When my daughter was less than a year old, I came across a news article on a website about breastmilk banking and the shortage of milk that Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas was experiencing. I happened upon the article just by chance, but I knew I could help. Because I was a working and pumping mom, I had a lot of milk in my freezer. I visited the website and called to go through the process for with my daughter. After I had my son a few years later, I knew I wanted to continue to donate to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.
I had plenty of milk; why not share it with those who truly needed it? I had tried to donate blood on previous occasions, but I would pass out. I knew I wouldn’t have that problem with milk donation! This was also my way to give back. I knew how important human milk was for healthy babies, so I could understand how crucial it can be for premature or sick babies. My family was blessed with two very healthy babies. I hoped to take some of the stress off parents who had an infant in the NICU.
Emalee’s breastfeeding tips:
Have good support in place: from your partner and family members, and also a support group of other breastfeeding moms. It’s important to seek help out when you need it. A male colleague even offered up his wife for help and support if I needed it!