Three-Time Donor Mom Michelle LeBlanc’s Story

Three-Time Donor Mom Michelle LeBlanc’s Story

Michelle LeBlanc
McKinney, TX

I alwMichelle LeBlancays intended to breastfeed my babies – at least give it a shot. Little did I know that I’d become an exclusive breastfeeding mom who is also a three-time donor mom to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.

Louis was born full term, weighing in at 6 lbs. 5 oz. five years ago this August. My milk came in right away and he willingly latched. A little coaching from the hospital’s lactation consultant helped us make sure he was properly latching.

Once I was home, I bought a single, manual hand pump because I wanted to up my supply and store some in the freezer. That way I’d have bottles to drop off at the church nursery. I soon realized that I was pumping a lot and not using the milk. At first, I poured the breastmilk down the drain. I later wondered if there was something I could do with my milk.

A few online searches led me to the Mothers’ Milk Bank. It was easy enough to do the donor mom screening – a short pre-screening phone call, filling out some paperwork, and then visiting a local lab to draw my blood. Then, I was approved and began dropping off my milk at Presbyterian Plano Hospital.

My hand pump worked just fine, but when Louis was 6 months old, I realized that a hand pump can really hurt your hand! I bought a single electric pump to make sure my wrist didn’t hurt anymore. We continued to breastfeed and pump the extra, keeping my supply up and nursing until Louis was 14 months old.

Three years ago his sister Samantha was born full-term, weighing in at 7 lbs. 1 oz. Once again, the hospital lactation consultant helped with her latch. We successfully breastfed for 12 months and also donated Samantha’s excess breastmilk to the Milk Bank.

Edward was born full-term 10 months ago, weighing 7 lbs. 7 oz. We’re still breastfeeding and donating to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. I’m glad that with each baby, we’ve had excess breastmilk available to donate to those in need. It wasn’t too much extra time and effort on our part to collect and drop off the milk, and I know that our milk can be used to save the lives of other babies.

Looking back, I remember that nursing in public was awkward at first; the entire process of unhooking a bra, moving a shirt, holding the baby under my cover was just awkward. Now I find it is so easy to nurse my baby. I don’t have to pack bottles, formula, or water. And breastfeeding isn’t wasteful.Michelle LeBlanc Flowers

I’ve breastfed my babies in restaurants, on trains, in the car, and at the zoo, mall, aquarium, or library. Everywhere. I’ve even learned how to nurse Edward while he’s in the carrier… Just practice and try it different ways and you’ll figure out what works best for you.

Breastfeeding Tips from Michelle LeBlanc:

  1. Consult your lactation consultant if you have any questions or problems.
  2. Practice nursing in public during off hours to gain experience and get comfortable with nursing, without feeling like people are looking at you.  You’ll gain speed and enjoy how easy, simple and convenient it is to breastfeed.
  3. Connect with other mothers and build a network of mommy friends. The support and advice you receive can greatly help you on your own journey through motherhood.
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Midland, TX Mom Shares her Breastfeeding Story

Midland, TX Mom Shares her Breastfeeding Story

Charity Rohlfs
Midland, TX

In Rohlfs - Brandt2011, I was a practicing attorney, pregnant with my daughter Emmaline. Online research educated me about breastfeeding and helped me decide to breastfeed my daughter once she was born. That’s also when I first learned about the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas.

I didn’t become a donor after Emmaline was born, but thought about the Milk Bank when a good friend lost her baby boy in October 2012. He was born at 35 weeks and wasn’t able to overcome the condition he was born with. At that time, I felt so much for my friend and realized that I just couldn’t fathom what NICU moms go through.

My friend’s experience was on my mind when I was pregnant with Brandt. It motivated me to contact the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas and become a donor, because I’d learned how much help a preemie baby receives from a small amount of donor milk. Becoming a donor mom was important, especially now knowing parents who have fought a NICU battle. I became a donor mom because I wanted to help other moms.

I left my law practice and am now a full-time stay at home mom. In addition to volunteering on a few local boards of directors and teaching a music class and with the support of my husband Randy, I breastfeed and also pump, store and send my milk off to the Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas. Sometimes I drive over to Odessa and drop it off at the Depot, and other times I ship it directly to Fort Worth.

Although it can be hard at times, I’m proud to breastfeed my children. I’ve been known to repeat this mantra while breastfeeding – “I’m burning calories. They are getting my immunities. We’re bonding. It’s for such a short time.  The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh everything else….”Rohlfs - Emmaline

Emmaline is now three and her younger brother Brandt is eight months old. I was able to breastfeed Emmaline for 13 months and am on my way to breastfeeding Brandt for a full year.

Charity Rohlfs’ Breastfeeding Tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I asked for a nurse with lactation training over and over again in the hospital before I was discharged. I really wanted to make sure I was doing this correctly.
  2. Have grace with yourself. No matter if you breastfeed for a day or for three years, know breastfeeding is making a difference. Know that you can do this. The reward is worth it. Find and use your confidence.
  3. Remember that you have breastfeeding and pumping rights in the workplace. Inform and assert yourself.
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Facebook Chat with Amy Vickers!

Facebook Chat with Amy Vickers!

MMBNT - Go ChatFacebook Chat with us on Wed., Aug., 6th

What do you want to know about breastfeeding and milk banking? Join our Executive Director Amy Vickers, RN, BSN, IBCLC for a live Facebook chat about breastmilk and babies on Wed., August 6 from 11 a.m. to noon on our Facebook Page.

Amy will answer your questions on topics such as:

  • Benefits of breastfeeding to babies and moms
  • Pumping breastmilk and continuing to breastfeed when working
  • Breastfeeding tips and support
  • Anything you want to know about breastfeeding or the Milk Bank

It’s easy to participate. Simply visit: https://www.facebook.com/mothersmilkbank

On August 6 at 11 a.m., look for Amy’s Facebook post that will kick off the live chat. Then, submit your questions in the comment thread of that post. Amy will respond to as many questions as possible during the hour-long chat!

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Milk Donors Needed! Here’s Why…

Milk Donors Needed! Here’s Why…

Simone Summerlin
Donor Program Coordinator

Video Collett - baby in NICUTo conclude our Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas video series, we take a look at all the good that comes from donating breast milk. Along with powerful and inspiring stories from donors and recipients alike, the series has also featured tidbits of good information from neonatologist Erin Hamilton Spence and our own Production Manager, Shaina Starks-Solis. In case you missed them, some of the many benefits include:

  • 80% of the processed donor human milk is dispensed to babies in hospital NICUs
  • Just a few ounces of milk can feed a preemie for sometimes up to 24 hours
  • Donating to a non-profit milk bank guarantees the donations go to the most critically-ill babies who need it most
  • Breastmilk really does provide immunities unavailable from other sources

You can watch the fourth video in the series here: Why Should I Donate?

Our incredible Video Collett - newborn NICU 2donor moms helped us fill our hospital orders this year, but a rise in awareness means a rise in need. In order to meet this years’ anticipated demand, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas will need at least 805 generous donor moms to drop off or ship us their “liquid gold.” Any healthy, breastfeeding mother with a baby under 1 year old is eligible to donate. If you are interested, please contact Simone Summerlin via email at simone@texasmilkbank.org.

If you missed any of the videos in our four-part series, you can see them all here on our YouTube page.

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August 2014 – Photo-A-Day Challenge on Instagram

August 2014 – Photo-A-Day Challenge on Instagram

Participate in our August 2014 Photo-A-Day Challenge on Instagram

Have you participated in a Photo-A-Day Challenge or contest yet? We invite you to celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Month and Milk Banking by participating in our August 2014 Photo-A-Day event on Instagram!

MMBNT_August_Photo-A-Day_640x640If you haven’t already done so, then follow us on Instagram @TexasMilkBank. Download the calendar here or look for it in our Instagram feed. Then, every day in August you simply post a picture that matches the theme of the day using hashtag #MMBNTPHOTOADAY when posting.

What do you do to have fun? Show us on Friday, August 1! Post a selfie of you and your kiddos on August 3- Selfie Sunday. We’re celebrating our 10th Year of accepting, pasteurizing and dispensing donor human milk this year and we’ll show you our “10-inspired Photo” on August 9. What will yours be?

Christina Murphy's breastmilk

August 16: @TexasMilkBank – Check out my Breastmilk Freezer Stash #MMBNTPHOTOADAY

And, on August 16, open up those freezers and show us your Breastmilk Freezer Stash. (You get the idea!)

Want more fun? In honor of our 10-Year Anniversary, we’ll have 10 SURPRISE PRIZE DAYS! We’ll pick a favorite photo on 10 random days in August and send the winner a $10 Gift Card by mail. The more you participate, the more chances to win!

To recap – playing photo-a-day couldn’t be easier. It really couldn’t. Here’s how to play:

  1. Grab your camera phone.
  2. Look at the monthly calendar to find the prompt for the day. {The number corresponds to the date of the month}.Take a photo using the prompt as inspiration.
  3. Share your photo on Instagram, adding the hashtag #MMBNTPHOTOADAY to your caption (so people can find you, and others know what you’re doing).
  4. After you’ve shared, check out other families’ photos by searching #MMBNTPHOTOADAY on Instagram.

See you soon on Instagram @TexasMilkBank!

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