Today I took a huge step in regaining possession of usable freezer space in our two refrigerators... But I'm doubting that many of you are familiar with the way in which I chose to do so - I didn't throw out large amounts of frozen meat that we're never going to eat, or rearrange the food on the shelves to create more room, or combine the multiple bags of tator tots that have somehow been opened before finishing off the other already-opened bags.
Nope, I used none of these typical methods.
Instead, I donated 216 ounces of breast milk (36 bags, 6 ounces each) to the International Breast Milk Project.
I never really investigated the option of donating breast milk until I was talking with the teachers in Macie's class this winter and telling them that I was running out of space in my freezer. One of them mentioned the possibility of donating, so I started doing some research. The process to become an approved donor took a few months, as the program officials had to get permission from both my and Macie's doctors, as well as do various blood and DNA testing to make sure I was a suitable donor. But finally, last month, I was approved, and they sent me my first cooler for donation.
It didn't come a minute too soon, as I'd, sadly, had to start throwing milk out because I had run out of room to store it. For those of you who have ventured down the road of breastfeeding, you understand that throwing out breast milk is one of the saddest things a woman ever has to do! We work too hard for it to dump it down the sink!!! So I'm so excited and pleased that I now have somewhere to send the excess to help babies in both Africa and the United States. Per IBMP policy, at least 25% of donated breast milk is sent to help babies in Africa. Isn't that exciting?!?
So here's a "before" picture of my freezer. This is why we don't eat at home - there's no room for food!!! After donating 216 ounces this morning, I still have approximately 540 ounces left in the freezer. Enough to feed Macie for 15 days! I've definitely been blessed with the ability to nurse my babies. And I'm so happy that I now get to help other babies across the world, too.