She pumps more than a gallon of breast milk in a day, but this mother of two isn't complaining, in fact, she calls it a 'labor of love.'
Elisabeth Keturah Anderson-Sierra has a rare condition which causes her to produce an oversupply of breast milk.
Known as hyperlactation syndrome, it causes an overabundance of milk. The mother's milk supply also comes out fast and forcibly, making it difficult for the baby to nurse well.
After the birth of her second daughter, Anderson-Sierra was told that she had hyperlactation syndrome. Rather than waste all the extra milk, she decided to do something incredible...
Six months ago, Elizabeth Anderson-Sierra gave birth to her second daughter. When she realized that she was producing way too much milk for her baby, she knew exactly what needed to be done.
After the birth of her first daughter, she signed up to donate milk through Tiny Treasures Milk Bank. The program ensures that premature babies get all the nutritional benefits of breast milk.
Upon discovering just how much extra milk she was pumping after the birth of her second daughter, she realized that she could actually give some of it away for free.
Right now, she donates about 1.75 gallons of breast milk in a day. Since she first started, this super mama has donated over 70,000 oz of breast milk.
The milk bank receives half of her milk and pays her $1 per oz of qualified milk. She is payed per oz as a measure of the time and cost it takes to pump and package. Since the funds are taxed, she loses about 50% of what she earns.
The other half of the milk she pumps in a day is donated for free to local mothers.
When someone asked why she just doesn't give it all away for free, Anderson-Sierra broke it down for everyone in a viral post.
She explains: "Many mothers want me to just give my milk freely to them when they cannot provide enough simply because I have so much. Yes I do have a lot to give, but I can't freely feed all the babies."
She went on to reveal the truth behind the often hidden side of breast milk donation:
"I have burned through 8 medela pumps and I've invested in two Symphony pumps as well as Spectra and PJs comfort. Pumps are not cheap, she writes."
Here's the breakdown of everything that goes into milk donation:
- Purchase bags for locally donated milk: 20-40 bags used daily
- 2 Pumping bras for support and compression: washed daily
- Disposable breast pads: changed at every pump
- Nipple Creams
- Replacement pump parts and bottles every 3 months
- Time washing and sterilizing equipment (in order to donate to micro preemies)
- 3 Sterilizers and 10 sets of pump parts
- 3 Freezers for milk storage
- Extra food, bottled water with electrolytes
- Time spent keeping up with milk bank qualifications, preparing milk bags and ensuring equipment meets high standards.
"I can't even take a pump off!" She explains, "I'm not complaining, this is my choice and I truly love what I do. But I feel the donors side is rarely talked about."
What do you think? Should mothers with extra milk give it away for free, or should they be paid for it? Let us know!