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Showing posts from 2014

Paying It Forward Through the Generations by Jana Sharpe-Sanders

Jana Sharpe-Sanders has known about the milk bank since she was a young girl. Her father, one of the milk bank’s founders, was a beloved visionary and outstanding neonatologist in Austin. His early death, and that of his wife Diana, was a huge loss to the milk bank and the medical community.  Read Jana’s tribute to her father, the milk bank, and to paying it forward!
The Mothers' Milk Bank of Austin has been a part of my family since day one of its existence. My father, Dr. George Sharpe, Neonatologist and Director of the NICU, was the co-founder of the MMBA with Dr. Sonny Rivera back in 1998.
He knew when it first started that it was going to be one of his crowning achievements in life. He believed in breastfeeding so much that when I had my first daughter, Kira, in 2004 and was having problems getting her to latch on, he sent over Lactation Specialist Barbara Wilson-Clay to my apartment as a welcome home gift! Well, she worked miracles and latching was finally a success!
I breast…

Healing through giving

Receiving donated breast milk and dispensing it to save the lives of fragile babies is our mission. Donors report many reasons for their donations, ranging from compassion to insufficient freezer space. For a small but significant group of donors, however, giving followed the loss of their baby.  The Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin recognizes the 1,207 donors who have given in their bereavement since our founding in 1999.

Erin Umberger, milk donor, MMBA ambassador, and mother of milk recipient baby Sarah Rose, shares her personal story about losing her beautiful daughter, and her mission to help save the lives of other babies born too soon and too small.

My precious daughter Sarah Rose was born extremely prematurely, at 23 weeks and 6 days gestation. While in the NICU, I learned how important human milk is for small and sick babies. Initially, I could not produce enough milk for Sarah, so she received milk from donor moms. I am so grateful that those women 
donated their precious milk to …

Libby & Xzavier's Story

Families needing donor human milk are always in crisis. Always! Imagine if your sick child needed breastmilk, but you didn’t have enough – or any. Fortunately, the founders of the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin knew a preterm infant’s first foods must not be compromised. Drs. George Sharpe and Audelio Rivera founded the milk bank to provide donor human milk for babies with a medical need until mom’s own milk became available.
Libby’s story is heartwrenching. Mother of a severely low birthweight infant, she didn’t have enough milk. The milk bank provided donor milk for five weeks until baby Xzavier was mature enough to digest formula. He’s healthy today thanks to our compassionate milk donors and generous financial contributors. Xzavier’s mom shares their story. 
I found out I was pregnant with my second child on Father’s Day 2012. As we each had one child from a previous marriage, my boyfriend and I were thrilled to be adding to our blended family. We enjoyed each moment of the pregnancy;…

Amplify Austin

Last year Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin raised nearly $25,000 during the inaugural 24-hour Amplify Austin citywide fundraising campaign. This year’s Amplify Austin begins Thursday, March 20, at 6 p.m., and the Milk Bank joins over 400 area non-profit organizations in requesting tax-deductible contributions. By 6 p.m. Friday, we aim to raise $50,000 – all earmarked for our Charitable Care Program. Can we do it? Yes!!! But we need your help.
Your contribution to the Milk Bank via Amplify Austin will be especially valuable to us. First, your gifts can be matched by generous sponsors. Second, we can win hourly $1,000 awards for the most donors and/or most dollars raised – and many of you will be feeding your babies in the middle of the night when other organizations’ donors are asleep!

Here’s how you can help us:
Email all your family and friends. Tell them what the Milk Bank means to you, and what our Charitable Care Program means to families with infants who have a medical need for dono…


I have been a lactation consultant in private practice in Austin since 1987, when I was one of the first people in the city to pass the certification examination developed by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners.  As soon as they heard I'd become certified, my own children's pediatricians asked me if I would like to work in their office on an as-needed basis to help mothers who were having breastfeeding problems.  Within a year or two, to make these services more widely available, I nervously paid the rental deposit on a small suite of rooms that would become my first freestanding lactation clinic.  On the day I picked up the key, I remember wondering if I was crazy to be gambling on public acceptance for such a newly minted health care concept.  I don't know how she even heard about the clinic, but I hadn't even finished carrying in all the boxes of supplies when an anxious young mother with an infant in her arms stuck her head in the door, climb…