Breastfeeding is the most essential part of motherhood and bringing up the baby. The breast milk is very important for the baby and it provides lots of nutrients to the kid. Breast milk also helps in developing the baby’s immune system. It provides the first essential antibodies that the baby’s body require for the development of the immune system. Mother’s do a lot and go to any extent to increase their milk supply. But, lot of them feel that they did not have enough milk supply for their baby. There are also a few women who suffer from hyper lactation syndrome. Let us know a few facts about the lady known as “The milk goddess”.
The milk goddess
Elisabeth Anderson Sierra is most popularly known as the milk goddess. Elisabeth Anderson Sierra hails from Beaverton, Oregon, USA. She is a mother of two beautiful angels Isabella and Sophia. Right from the time she was pregnant with Isabella she had a secret wish to donate breast milk and did a lot of research and talked with other donating mothers. The almighty God granted her wish and gifted her with a secret super power.
Elisabeth had extra supply of milk even at the time of her first daughter. But, she was officially diagnosed with hyper lactation syndrome only after her second daughter Sophia was born. A part from feeding her daughter, Elisabeth produces about 225 ounces (1.75 gallons) of milk in one day. She has donated about 600 gallons of milk. Elisabeth is associated to tiny treasures milk bank. She donates half to the milk bank and other to the local families and people who get in touch to her via friends, face book or any other social media. The tiny treasure milk bank donate her milk to micro preemies in different hospitals.
The milk bank provides Elisabeth with storage bags and pay her the compensation of $1 per ounce of milk. But, any money she gets is again used in buying accessories and for providing good quality breast milk.
In order to donate her milk for the noble cause, Elisabeth has to put in a lot of efforts. The milk bank tests both the mother and the donor. Every 123 days blood sample taken from Elisabeth is sent to the milk bank. The bank does the screening of the blood sample for various diseases, drugs and also the DNA from the blood is matched to the milk sample provided. So, Elisabeth could never send someone else milk as hers and get it passed. If it is found that she is violating any of the rules and regulations then the milk bank will drop her from the donor’s list.
The breast pumps used for pumping milk are also not that cheap and add to the cost. Also, she needs to have a set of pumping bras for each station and needs to clean them daily or on regular basis for sanitation issues. Elisabeth buys milk bags by herself for the people whom she donates milk other than the milk bank. She says that she uses up to 20 to 40 such bags. And these separate bags also cost a lot more. She changes breast pads before every pumping. These disposable breast pads also add to the cost. Every three months, the breast pump parts are changed. She does this to stick to and stay compliant to the donation standards. A lot of Elisabeth’s time is consumed on maintaining the hygiene of the breast pump. She needs to wash and then sterilize each and every part of the breast pump.
She maintains three freezers at home to store the bagged milk at proper temperature and pays for the electricity bill from her own pocket.
The most important of all these efforts is the time that she spends doing all these. Elisabeth spends about four to five hours pumping the milk and on the whole about 8 to 10 hours more than that for other activities like bagging, labeling, weighing and storing the milk at the proper temperature. This is the time that she does not spend with her family and kids.
I would give my salute not only to Elisabeth but also to her family for supporting her for this noble cause. The name the milk goddess definitely suits her.