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What Starts With a Phone Screening...

When I received the call from the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin that they would like me to come in for an interview, I was ecstatic. What made the call even more exciting for me was that I had applied for the Office Assistant position, but they wanted to know if I would be interested in the Donor Coordinator position that was also available. Upon learning that this would be a job that meant I worked closely with donors to help them through the screening process, I knew this was exactly what I wanted to do.

Having been with the Mothers’ Milk Bank for over a year now, my job has not lost any appeal to me at all. Every day I meet new amazing women who are willing to make an incredible donation to help out others. We laugh and cry together and share anecdotes about our experiences. I have interviewed everyone from doctors, lawyers, SAHMs, WAHMs, entrepreneurs, retail workers, moms using WIC, unemployed moms, bereaved moms, students, professors, charitable organization directors, deacons, an…

World Breastfeeding Month in Review!

What a whirlwind the month of August was as we celebrated World Breastfeeding Month! While we work tirelessly all year long to spread the word about breastfeeding and milk banking, MMBA took full advantage of this dedicated and special month to do even more!

We kicked off the month with a bang thanks to our friends at the local Austin WIC (Women Infants and Children) Clinics—we had the opportunity to attend not one, but TEN Prenatal and Breastfeeding fairs that they were hosting! What a great chance for us to meet with new moms and tell them more about how to become a milk donor.

Speaking of WIC—our Outreach Coordinator, Kara White, attended the annual Breastfeeding Reception hosted by one of our WIC depot locations in Bryan/College Station. They were so excited to hear that mothers from their community have provided over 36,000 meals for premature babies! We also officially opened a new milk collection site at Mom’s Place Breastfeeding Clinic at the North Austin WIC office which will b…

Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge!

A little healthy competition is fun, right?

Join us on October 1st when Austin will be participating in the International Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge. The goal of the challenge is to get as many moms and babies breastfeeding at once as possible. The city with the most participants is the winner!

The event is being co-hosted by the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin; Central Texas Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies; and the Sustainable Food Center. It is a free event and is open to the public. It's a great way to promote, protect and support breastfeeding women and their families. We will also have fabulous door prizes and free give-aways!

We want Austin to win this year! Please help us by spreading the word to any and all breastfeeding moms that you know. Do you think Austin has a chance? We do!

Who: Breastfeeding Moms and Babies!
What: Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge
Where: Republic Square Park Farmers Market, 4th & Guadalupe, Austin, TX
When: Saturday, October 1st Check in…

Latch On America Press Release

As a follow up to yesterday's blog post, we wanted to share the press release for the "Latch On America Tour" community event that will take place at Zilker Park on Thursday morning!



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Austin contact:
Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR - Momentum Public Relations for Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin
anne@momentum-pr.com or 512-784-3805

Latch On America contact:brettan@milkforthought.com or 619-318-3536

Austin selected as one of 30 cities for “Latch On America,” national grassroots campaign and documentary film to support moms, promote breastfeeding and infant health

Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin and local hosts invite moms-to-be and breastfeeding community to meet Latch On America and its ‘Big Pink Bus for Breastfeeding’ at Zilker Park on August 18, 10 a.m.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – August 15, 2011 – Breastfeeding is beautiful but it isn’t always easy. On Thursday, August 18 at 10 a.m. at Zilker Park’s Pecan Grove, local breastfeeding and infant health advocates will host “L…

The Latch On America Tour is Coming to Austin!

On Thursday, August 18th the big pink Latch On America bus will be pulling into Austin and we plan to show them a good time! We will help host a community event on Thursday morning at Zilker Park from 10 a.m. to noon. Then we will host them at MMBA later in the afternoon for a tour of our lab and interviews with breastfeeding supporters from throughout the city. Most importantly, we want them to know that Austin supports breastfeeding and milk banking!


We hope you will be able to join us on Thursday morning, or help spread the word—contact Kara@milkbank.org for more information or print out our flyer to share with everyone you know: Austin_Latch_On_America_Details.pdf

In Memory of Vivian

Every baby deserves human milk and every grieving parent deserves to heal. I’m paraphrasing words that Kim Updegrove, the Executive Director of the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin spoke to me during a conversation we had in the first days that I met her. Those words still echo loudly when I think about the wonderful stories of selfless giving that so many grieving mothers have shared with me over the last few years. It is the story of my wife, my daughter, and the hundreds of donors I have met along my journey, which began the evening of August 8, 2008.

The nurse blamed a faulty monitor and rushed out of the room, but the realization that something was seriously wrong came when the doctor stormed into the room frantically searching for a heartbeat inside of my wife’s tummy. But there wasn’t one to be found. Our daughter, Vivian, just days away from her arrival, had not survived an undetected infection. Our dream of having our third daughter was over in just a few moments.

My wife’s milk ca…

Giving Back

My son Tyler was born 4 weeks early. He was 4 pounds, 5 ounces - small for that stage of pregnancy due to what I was told was called Intra-Uterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). In order to keep his weight from dropping while waiting for my mine to come in, Tyler was given donor milk for the 1st 2 days of his life. I was so grateful that this was possible!

I'm sure that largely because of this donation of nutrition, he was able to avoid needing NICU services & was also able to stay with me in the birthing center and to go home with me without an extended hospital stay.

In an effort to stimulate my milk to come in ASAP, I began pumping immediately after delivery - every 3 hours as I would normally feed. Consequently, my milk came in in droves - I could have fed triplets, I'm pretty sure! I froze piles of extra milk. It took about 6 months for Tyler's consumption to catch up with my production. I was, therefore, able to donate almost 200 ounces of milk to the Mother's Mil…

March for Babies!

Oh, what fun we had last Saturday at the March for Babies walk, benefiting the March of Dimes! After weeks of putting our team together and fundraising and organizing our tent, the day was finally here!
As a team the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin raised $1,625...not bad for our first go at this! And not only did our staff walk, but we had donors and recipients join us as well, which was a huge bonus. It was especially rewarding to us to have the Roy Family participate in the walk. Baby Ike is no longer a baby, but a healthy talking 2 1/2 year-old with long curls, and we all celebrate his progress from a donor milk-fed infant with a tracheostomy.
As an organization we sponsored a Lactation & Changing Station for the walk. Situated between the Family Team tent and the bouncy house, we were in a perfect spot for people to discover this new addition to the walk. Being our first time out there providing this service we weren't sure what kind of response we would get, but it turne…

Happy Mother's Day!

The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. –Jill Churchill


Happy Mother's Day from all of us at the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin!

David's Story

David was born at 38 weeks gestation with intrauterine growth restriction. Weighing only 2.4 pounds and measuring slightly longer than 12 inches long, he was immediately taken to the level III neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. He would spend the next 80 days and nights working on gaining weight and stability. Diagnosed with Russel Silver Syndrome, David has a complicated diagnosis with symptoms including leg length discrepancy, hypospadias, poor/lack of appetite, gut dysmotility, reflux, and delay gastric emptying.


David’s parents share their story:
Since David came home, we are making continuous changes to our lives, this is 24 hours non-stop living. Also, medical follow ups are so frequent that we are asking the Texas Medical Center for a monthly parking pass. We are pleased that David is being taken care of by all his physicians because we are seeing improvement and development from each appointment to the next one. If we have to review our learnin…

Powerful Prescription! One Mom's Story of Receiving Donor Milk

I truly believe in nature’s most “powerful prescription”, donated human breast milk. I have two beautiful little boys that have two very different stories as to how they were fed. When my first child, Cooper, was born in 2006 I knew there was a milk bank, but unfortunately that’s all I knew. Cooper was born at 34 weeks and remained in the NICU for over 3 weeks, mainly with gastrointestinal issues. I know how rich in antibodies and immune fighting properties breast milk is, so I did everything in my power to breastfeed him. However, I was unable to produce adequate breast milk, so his only option was formula. I remember feeling like such a failure. After 2 years of chronic illness including ear infections, diarrhea and vomiting, Cooper was diagnosed with an immune deficiency (CVID) and food allergies (EE), including milk and soy. Cooper now receives weekly infusions to build his immune system and we watch his diet closely.

Fast-forward 4 years and 2 days and my second child, Cash, was …

Exciting Opportunities Abound for the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin in 2011!

We’ve been absent from the blogging world for a while, but that is because 2010 was an extremely busy and exciting year for the Mothers' Milk Bank at Austin. Thanks to healthy breastfeeding moms who recognize the need to donate to the neediest babies, we approved over 400 milk donors and pasteurized and dispensed approximately 290,000 ounces of milk in 2010 – that’s more than 2,250 gallons! Preterm birth rates remain high and the challenges for their own moms to produce milk remains an obstacle. To meet more of the demand, we hope to approve 500 donors in 2011 and increase our dispensed milk by 10%! These goals are two of many for our ever-expanding organization as we strive to improve outcomes for the medically fragile infant in the safest way possible. Our ultimate goal is always to serve more babies and save more lives!

One of the exciting projects we have been working on is the Donor Alumnae program for retired donors. We introduced the Alumnae group back in May and since then…