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Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra, 29, spends an incredible 10 hours a day pumping around 1.75 gallons (8ltrs) of milk to help thousands of babies.

Elizabeth has been diagnosed with hyperlactation syndrome, which means she produces masses more milk than what is considered a ‘normal’ amount.

She still manages to feed her own six-month-old daughter Sophia, before generously giving the rest to those more needy than herself.

Donating the precious liquid gold to mums who struggle to breast feed, premature babies and gay dads, Elizabeth says she has fed thousands of babies, reports The mirror.

Her milk is packaged, labelled and stored in four huge freezers in the house where she lives with her two girls and her husband, David Sierra, 52.

She says producing the “liquid gold” is her “labor of love”.

Elizabeth, also mum to two-year-old Isabella, said: “I realised I was an overproducer when I was pregnant with my first child, but when I had my second baby my supply ramped up.

“Now Sophia is six months old I pump five times a day – as soon as I wake up, after breakfast, after lunch, after dinner and again at midnight.

“I produce 70 to 80oz of milk during my first pump alone.

“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.

“I’ve not had a day off in two-and-a-half years. It’s more than a full-time job.

“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 1oz can feed three or four babies.

“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.”

Australian guidelines

Donor milk is a human body fluid with some accompanying risks.

These include viruses (e.g. HIV, hepatitis C), bacteria and other infectious agents such as prions (i.e. vCJD).  These risks need to be kept in perspective.

While blood borne viruses are found in the breast milk of infected mothers, transmission from mother to child through breast milk is rare, and occurs at much lower rates than with blood (Gribble 2012).

Donor screening and pasteurisation reduce the risks even further.  Despite a long history of milk banking internationally, reports of adverse events are extremely rare.

The risk management strategies for human milk banks cover three main stages:

• Collection of donor milk – including donor eligibility, recruitment, screening and selection (with similar criteria to blood donation); training and support for donors; and how the donor milk is expressed, stored and transported.
• Processing donor milk- including tests carried out on the milk e.g. for bacteria and nutrient composition, pasteurisation, labelling, tracking and storing (which may include freezing and thawing).
• Providing the donor milk – including recipient eligibility and prescribing of donor milk, informed consent, dispensing and feeding protocols including fortification where required, tracking and record keeping, staff training, supporting mothers to establish their own milk supply, and liability and insurance issues.

You can read more info on milk donors here

Share your comments below

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  • wow that is very selfless of this young lady to do! what a lovely soul she is and considering others needs is such an amazing thing to do! well done to her!

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  • I know of a Mum whose baby was very premature. She went home about 5 weeks before the baby was able to go home. She was going to the hospital for the day every day but had to express milk as her baby was being tube fed. She was also expressing milk at night and taking to the hospital. She was producing more milk than her own baby needed, even at 3 weeks old when she was able to start breastfeeding her. There was a couple of struggling babies in the nursery whose Mums were unable to produce milk or the Mum was on medication. The hospital staff held a meeting then approached her to see if she would donate milk for other babies which she agreed to. Her milk was tested to check it wasn’t contaminated in any way. They supplied her with bottles to put the extra breastmilk in, she refrigerated it she took it to the hospital every morning, Besides feeding her own baby during the day she pumped extra milk to be used for other babies.

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  • That’s a wonderful labour of love.

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  • Why not. It used to be done years ago. Of course all of the screening processes have to take place, but what a fabulous and selfless thing to do.

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  • Such a wonderful thing for her to do.

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  • that is so generous to devote her time and energy to pumping and donating all whilst feeding her own child – I am sure many mothers and babies are so thankful for her wonderful gift

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  • When I had excess milk I couldn’t find out where to donate it and any info on it. I felt so bad tipping all my milk down the drain. The midwife told me we don’t have a milk bank (well at that stage which was 10 years ago) in Victoria

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  • Wow, spending 8-10 hours on this is a full time job !!
    My daughter had donor milk (as I was using medication at that time), she was so tiny. Let me see if I can find a picture.
    I can still be thankful for the possibility of donor milk !

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  • That is very generous. Pumping is not fun.

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  • Wow this woman is so generous and kind. I think she is a wonderful person to be doing this and maybe they should be more people following in her footsteps if they are also diagnosed with the same condition.

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  • Wow well done how amazing is she.

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  • Wow, good on her for sharing with those in need

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  • If she can help then this is great. My husband use to use my excess milk in his coffee and love it.

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  • Very generous!

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  • I think it’s a wonderful idea if the milk at least has been screened before giving it away.

    Reply

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