One of the hardest things about planning to go to my first blogging conference- BlogHer ’11 in San Diego this August- was deciding to leave my nursling at home with his father. My son will be 10 months old when I go.  Many people think 10 months is almost time to wean but not me.  I’ll be nursing my son until he is ready to wean, whenever that is.

Other than physically leaving my two boys and husband, the next cause for concern came when I realized I needed to pump enough milk to last for the 4 days I would be gone. Yikes!  That is a tall order, especially since I only have a single pump.  And pumping while gone with a single?  That would be a nightmare!  It would take twice the time to relieve my breasts.  Instead, I’ll be pumping with a Hygeia Double Electric. {Full Disclosure- they are sending the pump free of charge as my Pump Sponsor for BlogHer}

And what about while I’m away? Traveling with breast milk is something I am very afraid of.

I’ve read the stories of women who have had to fight with the TSA about their breast milk and in many cases they either missed their flight or had their milk X-Rayed.

Like this one.

Or this one.

Or this one.

All because of breast milk.  You know, that amazing fluid designed for babies that meets all of their nutritional needs and is formulated to suit them at every age and stage? Yeah.  It just so happens to be dispensed through a nipple on those jiggly things men like to look at called Boobs.

Even though theoretically the law and TSA regulations are on my side I just don’t want to chance it.

That is why I have decided to donate the milk that I pump while in San Diego to a local family through a peer milk sharing program (Most likely Eats on Feets Southern CA).  I will have 3 full days worth of breast milk which will translate to about 80-110 ounces.  I’ve never exclusively pumped but I am just guessing based off of what I get from each breast when I do a single pump, and have multiplied that by how many times I will likely pump while away each day.    I realize this isn’t a ton but I know it can be of help to someone. I would much rather donate it than risk losing it or contaminating it at the airport. Plus the logistics of a full day of flying with a cooler of breastmilk makes my head hurt.

If you are pumping at BlogHer and want to skip the hassle of traveling home with milk, don’t let it go to waste! We can all donate our milk together to one family or you can find a family to donate to individually. I will create a group either on BlogHer or on Facebook if there is enough interest, just let me know in the comments.

I do not have a recipient lined up yet for my milk in San Diego.  In case others wish to donate with me we could potentially donate all of our milk to one family.  As a reminder, peer to peer milksharing (more on this) is something both parties will willing go into fully aware of the risks involved. There will be no money exchanged and the milk will not be screened.  It is up to me to be forthcoming about what could be in my milk (dairy or other ingested foods that could cause an allergic reaction in some babies, or even alcohol) and the recipient to understand those things.  If I do drink while away chances are I will dump the milk I pump after since I am donating it.  I do feel comfortable breastfeeding my own baby after one or two drinks but others may not.

I am absolutely terrified of coming home to a baby who no longer want to breastfeed but multiple people have reassured me that he will go right back to the breast when I get home.  At least I know that my milk won’t go to waste while I’m away.

Are you a Lactacting Lady going to BlogHer ’11?  Would you consider breast milk donation?  If so leave a comment!  If enough people are interested I’ll create a group to help plan this potential multi-donor transaction with a local San Diego family.

7 Responses

  1. I won’t be at Blogher, but I’ve done a one time donation and am currently doing ongoing donations to supplement 2 babies while nursing my own. I think that it’s great that you want to donate and woyld be fantastic if others join you! Especially if you are just pumpung to maintain. I will have to make a decision in Aug about what to do when I on a two week trip and will have my baby but won’t be able to do weekly drop-offs for the other two…

  2. Awesome!  When we went on vacation to Colorado I donated all the milk I pumped while there!  It was a week’s worth of milk & I pumped about 20 oz a day at the time, so it was awesome for the adoptive mother I got to help out!

  3. That is really awesome! Definitely better than pumping and dumping. I’m sure your baby will want to nurse the second he sees you again – Mine is 8 months and I’ve never left him that long but I know he would never give up on his milkies that quickly!

  4. I’m glad to know you’re doing this, Kim! (And thanks also for linking to my TSA story.) I really wish I had just donated my breastmilk when I was in Louisiana, because I brought the milk home (and went through the crap with TSA) to give to a friend’s baby. Next time, though….

  5. I would love to donate my milk! I’ll be seeing you on Friday for the pumping session with Jen. If you have more info for me about how to donate, please let me know!

    Dagmar ~ Dagmr’s momsense

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *