An Oregon mom who produces excess amounts of breast milk is able to donate hundreds of gallons of the stuff to infants in need as a result of her condition.
Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra, a 29-year-old mother of two, lives in Beaverton, Oregon, and suffers from a condition called Hyperlactation Syndrome. As a result, she produces about 1.7 gallons of breast milk each day. That’s nearly 10x as much as most lactating women!
Every day, the mom spends around 10 hours a day nursing and pumping her milk. She’s not letting the food source go to waste, however. Anderson-Sierra donates it to milk banks and families in need. So far, she has donated 600 gallons (2.5 tonnes).
Elisabeth has been hyper-lactating since her oldest daughter, Isabella, was born. That was two-and-a-half years ago, according to Oddity Central. To store the milk, she has four large freezers in her home. Local mothers who cannot breastfeed, gay couples and breast milk banks for premature babies appreciate her donations. Though Elisabeth has to spend most of her day nursing and storing the milk that is produced, she considers it a “labor of love.”
“I pump five times a day – as soon as I wake up, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and again at midnight. I produce up to 0.625 gallons of milk during my first pump alone,” she said. “In total I will spend around five hours a day just pumping and then with storing, labelling, sterilizing etcetera, I easily spent eight to ten hours. Pumping is not fun – it is uncomfortable and it hurts – but it is my labor of love.
“It is instant gratification when I donate locally because I see the babies and I see them thriving. It will have helped thousands of children. The milk at the milk bank goes to micro pre-emies, so just 1 fl oz can feed three or four babies,” Elisabeth added. I don’t discriminate – I have donated to gay couples and to mothers who are on medication or had their breast removed due to breast cancer. It’s an amazing feeling.”
In an interview with Inside Edition, the mother of two said that she was inspired to start donating the breast milk after her own experience with her first daughter. Reportedly, her first child was born prematurely, and Elisabeth’s milk didn’t come in right away. As a result, she had to rely on a donor. “Even though I was a producer for my last child, I couldn’t even do it for my own daughter,” she said. “When milk finally came in, I wanted to really make use of it and get that milk out there.”
Approximately half of the milk the devoted mother produces is picked up by local couples and families. Sometimes, people compensate her for her “work.” The rest goes to the California milk bank Prolacta Bioscience, which also compensates her with $1 for every fluid ounce she donates.
Said Elisabeth, “It makes me feel like I am giving back to my community and I’m participating in humanity. I would encourage other mums to reach out to their own community and consider donating. Breast milk is like liquid gold – it should never be thrown away. And there is a high need for it out there.”
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I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here