Breastmilk is the normal food for babies under 6 months old (and a vital part of their nutritional needs for much longer) but there are some occasions when a mother is unable to nurse her own baby, such as when the mother is sick or the baby is premature.
In these cases, donated breastmilk improves the health outcome for the baby and is the preferred option over formula.
I have been lucky enough to be accepted as a breastmilk donor for our local hospital, so most days I pump a bottle full and stash in the freezer ready to take batches up to the RD&E.
The milk will be used to give feeds to sick and premature babies in the NNU, rather than supplement with artificial formula, until such time as the mother is able to nurse her baby herself.
I consider myself to be very fortunate as I have a good supply and, following some initial difficulties, find breastfeeding my children to be very easy and rewarding.
This is my way of showing my gratitude and of helping out other families in their time of need.
If you would like to find out more about breastmilk donation in the UK, you can visit
Informal milk sharing arrangements can also be arranged, see: