Happy Birthday, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas!

Happy Birthday, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas!

Today commemorates a decade of milk banking for Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.  Our anniversary luncheon at Ridglea Country Club will celebrate 10 years of collecting, storing, pasteurizing and dispensing human donor milk to premature and critically ill infants.  Donor moms, recipient families, milk bank administrators, physicians and nurses will all be in attendance as we look back on all we have accomplished together.

One donor mom, Maria Walters, is looking forward to the event.  She explains, “It will be so meaningful to have representatives from every aspect of milk banking in one room, applauding past accomplishments and looking forward to saving many more babies in the future.”Processed, packaged and ready to go!

The milk bank, a non-profit organization, has been processing donor milk since September 2004.  “Its overwhelming to comprehend the milestones we have experienced over the years” says Simone Summerlin, Outreach Director.  She adds, “The milk bank now has 35 collection depots in Texas and in four other states, and serves over 95 hospitals.”

In ten years, the milk bank has dispensed almost 2 million ounces of milk from over 4000 donors.  As the demand grows, so does the effort to keep the supply flowing for premature and critically ill infants.

Amy Vickers, Executive Director, knows the milk bank’s success would not have been possible without the selflessness of the donors. “When it comes to the tiniest, sickest NICU babies, every drop counts. We are forever indebted to our amazing donor moms and greatly appreciate the thousands of moms who over the last 10 years have donated their excess breastmilk to help us save lives,” she says.

Proceeds from today’s luncheon will benefit the milk bank’s charitable care program, the Milk Money Fund, as well as seed the organization’s newly formed permanent endowment fund.  Money raised will ensure that all infants with a medical need will receive donor human milk for many more decades to come.

If you were unable to join us today, but still wish to donate, gifts can be made via PayPal by visiting our website.

 

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Donor Gives Back- Again!

Donor Gives Back- Again!

Patricia Stanley
Burleson, TX

Patricia Stanley with GenevieveI view my breastmilk donations to Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas as one of the most important things I have ever done. My first child spent only her first night in the NICU due to some minor delivery complications. Although her time in the NICU was brief, it gave me a very small glimpse of the stress the parents of babies in the NICU must feel. When I began to have a significant oversupply after the birth of my first daughter, I read about how milk donation of surplus milk to HMBANA milk banks would help medically fragile babies in NICUs. I immediately fell in love with donating my surplus milk; I loved that I could do something to help these beautiful babies and hopefully help their parents as well. I donated again after having my second daughter. And, if we are blessed with additional children, I will go through the process of applying to be a donor again.

An additional reason I have for donating my milk involves my work serving as an Attorney Ad Litem to CPS children; I have been appointed to babies born into very unfortunate circumstances, some who have been in the NICU. If my extra milk helps a baby that needs it and gives them the best possible start in life, I am all for it and will be right there in line to get my blood drawn – again – in the screening process. My donating experience with Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas has been amazing. I feel like I am treated like family.

My best pumping tips for first time moms are: (1) use a top notch double electric pump; (2) pump Patricia Stanley with Vivienneevery 3 hours if at all possible – even at night; (3) use a big enough flange; and (4) drink A LOT of water.  Good luck and happy pumping!

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In Remembrance of Liza Rose

In Remembrance of Liza Rose

Kara Schroeder
Wichita Falls, TX

When my second daughter Liza was born in September 2012, no one knew what we were about to face. I had a relatively complication-free pregnancy, but when she was born it was immediately clear something was wrong. When she left in an ambulance for a NICU two hours away, I called the nurse’s station and requested a breast pump. I knew I needed to start pumping and establish my supply for my sick baby, so I could hopefully nurse her when she was able. Within days her medical team gave us no answers, just lots of information from multiple exams and tests. Liza had suffered a suspected cord accident before her birth. The damage to her brain had been irreversibly done. My baby would never nurse, never smile, never laugh,  never call me mama. We began making decisions about her care, and I needed to make decisions about my milk. I had pumped religiously around the clock, every two hours while awake, every three at night, to establish my supply for her. When a lactation consultant came to check on me, I was ready to tell her I wanted to donate Liza’s milk. I knew that if my babies were ever in need, donor milk would be my second choice after my own. There was never really a question of whether I would donate. Liza Rose died at home peacefully in my arms at 11 days old. I continued to pump and donate until what would have been her two month birthday.

Pumping for the milk bank gave me purpose in the early days after her death. It provided a routine. I was without my baby. There were no sleepless nights, no diapers to change, no baby to rock and nurse and hold. I remember not knowing what to do with my hands. For months they had rested on my growing belly; now they were so empty and aimless.

Liza's LeafThe first time I visited the milk bank to bring her milk, I saw photographs of babies and read letters from their mothers. These letters expressed so much heartfelt gratitude for the milk that was donated. And then I saw pictures of babies like mine. Babies who did not get to live and survive and thrive, but whose mother’s gave like I did.

Being a donor has great meaning for me. The babies and children and families who are touched by milk donation carry Liza’s legacy forward.  I am glad that I made the choice to donate, and it has played a great part in healing my very broken heart.

Theo in Breastfed Shirt- Kara SchroederToday I am pumping again, as we welcomed little brother Theo to our family in March 2014. I don’t have as much time on my hands these days to pump, but am confident that even the small amount I am able to donate will go a long way. Theo and Liza have enabled me to give the greatest of gifts, and I am thankful for the chance.

Breastfeeding Theo- Kara Schroeder

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From our Facebook Friends: Advice about Breastfeeding in Public

From our Facebook Friends: Advice about Breastfeeding in Public

Editor’s Note about Photo: Facebook Friend and donor mom Kathleen Wilkinson is one of the many moms who contributed their advice to this post. Thank you all!

We posted on Facebook  asking our mamas for their best tips for nursing in public and we got some great responses. It’s not always the easiest thing to do (trust us, we’ve been there!) so here is some advice from our Facebook friends on how to prepare both physically and mentally.

Preparing Physically

  • Wear a nursing tank under your shirt. When you pull the shirt up, pull the tank down and baby is feeding, everything is covered.
  • For our more conservative mamas, try packing a shield or burp cloth. This will help make you feel more comfortable while still feeding baby.

Preparing Mentally

  • Many of our mamas agreed on this one- confidence is key! Feel good about the fact that you’re bonding and nurturing your baby and don’t worry about what others think.
  • Smile! This will help you relax and boost confidence.
  • One Facebook friend recommended practicing in front of a mirror. It may sound silly, but it helps you realize others aren’t seeing as much as you think they are.

If you’re still not comfortable breastfeeding in public, pumping before you go out is always a good option. In the end, nursing in public isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay too. We love hearing all of your advice and appreciate your support of this breastfeeding community. Be on the lookout for our next question and maybe your comment will be featured on our blog!

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Guest Blogger: Wellness Pointe WIC Staff

Guest Blogger: Wellness Pointe WIC Staff

Guest Blogger- Wellness Pointe WIC staff
Longview and Kilgore, TX

Editor’s Note: The Wellness Pointe WIC offices are Milk Depots for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas

Kilgore StaffAs a drop off location for the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas, the Longview and Kilgore WIC offices of Wellness Pointe are honored to help spread the word of the importance of breastfeeding for mother and baby. We are also proud to educate the public of the importance of becoming a donor for those families that have a need for breastmilk for their babies.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a USDA program that is available in all 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and American Samoa. WIC is available to women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, and children up to 5 years old. Currently 53% of the infants born in the US and its territories are served by WIC. By offering prenatal, breastfeeding and postpartum nutritional education, we help families break the cycle of obesity and poor eating habits.

We are fully committed to assisting mothers in order for them to have healthy, long-term breastfeeding experiences. Our breastfeeding peer counselors and WIC staff are trained in the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, assistance with latch, issuance of breast pumps, and supporting our breastfeeding families. Our breastfeeding peer counselors go to our local hospitals to visit with and assess the needs of our WIC moms. This is a vital link in the chain of continued community breastfeeding support. We work together with the hospitals, especially with families that may have an infant in the NICU, to make sure that they have the resources and equipment available to provide vital support during this stressful time.

Longview Staff 2We offer three styles of breast pumps-large electric, small electric, and hand pumps at no cost to our clients. Our WIC breastfeeding staff provides education on the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby-reducing certain types of female cancers, reducing obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, lowering the rate of ear infections, stronger immune systems and smarter babies!

Our WIC offices serve close to 5,400 families each month in East Texas. Our locations have three Registered Dietitians, two Nutritionists, five members of the breastfeeding department and three WIC Certification Specialists that are available to answer any nutritional issues that may arise.

Our Longview location has been a drop off location since May 2012 and has collected 10,014 ounces of donor breast milk. The Longview and Kilgore WIC offices are honored to support the Mothers’ Milk Bank North Texas, our donors, and the families that benefit from their generosity.

Longview WIC Staff 1Wellness Pointe WIC Staff:

    • Director- Scherry Barnes
    • Office Manager- Maria Galvin
    • Breastfeeding Coordinator- Carole S. McKinney
    • Registered Dietitians- Kyle Blanton, RD, Denise Frye MS, RDN, LD, Stacy Lennon RDN, LD
    • Nutritionists- Rachel W., BS, Shya C., BS, WIC Certification Specialist Cristina V.
    • Breastfeeding Peer Counselors- Rosa R., Judy V., Miriam M., and Mariesha R.
    • Income Department- Eli R., Lourdes S.
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