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Interview with Second-Time Donor Mom, Alexandra

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family?

A: My name is Alexandra, I’m a 31-year-old mom of two. My husband, Andrew, and I have a daughter, age two, and a son, six months. I’m a nurse practitioner and after working during the pandemic, I’m especially savoring and enjoying the time I have at home now with my children. Breastfeeding has, thankfully, been a very successful, rewarding and incredible experience feeding and nurturing my babies.

Q: Why did you first decide to become a milk donor?

A: In early 2021, when my daughter was two months old, we were trying to figure out how to help her with reflux symptoms that became more and more severe. The cause was a dairy intolerance. I quickly went dairy free and one of the biggest bummers was knowing she wouldn’t be able to consume the freezer full supply I had pumped and stored in preparation for returning to work (so much!). I was absolutely not going to throw away the milk, so I started researching what I could do.

The Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee was the first place I called and was directed to Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin because MMBTN had not opened its processing facility yet at that point. I continued to donate my excess supply for the remainder of 2021. My final donations were able to stay local when the MMBTN was up and running.

With my second pregnancy, I had not considered being a donor again until my supply in the freezer became more than what my son would ever consume by bottle before expiring. Without hesitation, I searched Mothers’ Milk Bank of Tennessee and filled out the donor application once again.

Q: What has your experience been like as a second time donor?

A: As a second time donor, I’m just as excited to share our excess breastmilk to the NICU babes as before. I'm so grateful to have a solution for the extra supply because I wouldn’t be able to stomach throwing any of it away. Nursing and pumping are both labors of love; pumping and cleaning/sterilizing and bagging/ labeling, etc. it’s a lot of time effort. I think I’ve learned where the ‘don’t cry over spilled milk’ comes from, because it can make you cry!

Q: What would you share to someone who is considering becoming a milk donor?

A: I would tell them not to hesitate! It’s so easy to get set up, it’s so easy to drop off the donation and it is simply one of the most rewarding experiences!

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share?

A: I am very proud to be a milk donor, I know that the donation is life giving to tiny babies needing nutrition. I felt even more pride as a donor when a close friend of mine shared her baby had received donor milk in the NICU for the first two weeks of life before her own milk came in.

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