Donor Profile: Jill Courtney
by: Carissa Hawkins, Communicator Coordinator, IMMB
How did you hear about donating your excess breast milk?
I heard about the possibility of donating excess milk from my wonderful lactation consultant, Ann Marie Neely, during our Childbirth Ed class here in Bloomington at BABS. Pre-birth, of course, I had no idea how our situation would be, but just the fact that it was mentioned was great, because that stuck in the back of my mind when the time came and it was possible for us to do so.
I went back to work full-time when my son was 13 weeks old. He was home with Dad while I was gone at school (I’m a teacher), and he had ample opportunities to drink the milk I pumped for him. But we breastfed on demand when together, including at night, and he really just seemed to prefer drinking straight from me instead of the bottle. He would drink maybe a few ounces while I was gone, but not near what I pumped. (And he was happy, and healthy, and consistently above the 97th percentile in weight, so no problems getting enough!) Thus, because of his preferences and my dedication to continue pumping regularly anyway, I ended up with a lot of extra milk. And of course, that’s when I remembered I could donate it!
Was there anything unique about your pumping routine?
No, nothing other than that I was very dedicated and kept it very regular, all during my son’s first year. Twice a day while I was gone at work, and any other time that anything unusual happened in our schedule to prevent a regular feeding time. Total dedication to keeping the schedule, and a pump I was really happy with (Hygeia). I was also lucky to have have a private, nice, personal space for pumping and a schedule that allowed me to pump on a schedule that worked for me.
Was your employer spouse supportive of you pumping/ donating?
Spouse, absolutely, and employer wasn’t really an issue, because I was able to work it into my personal schedule without asking for any favors from anyone else.
Would you donate again?
If I was in the same situation again, absolutely! Although it takes some dedication- getting the blood test, getting registered, etc- to get started, which is hard when you’re in the middle of new motherhood, I understood it’s importance, and there is nothing I would rather do with my extra milk! In the end, I was able to donate somewhere around 800 ounces or so, and I feel really good about that.
Jill Courtney, Bloomington, IN