Mom donates 14 gallons of breast milk to NICU babies in need

There are plenty of ways moms use extra breast milk. They pump it, dump it, save it, bake with it or even drink it ...

Posted: Apr 7, 2018 12:51 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2018 12:51 PM

There are plenty of ways moms use extra breast milk. They pump it, dump it, save it, bake with it or even drink it (though health experts definitely caution against this). Amanda Lanners, a South Dakota mom of four, decided to donate it instead.

Lanners is currently breastfeeding her youngest child, and it takes only one day for her to pump around 72 ounces of breast milk. That makes for quite a surplus, so on Valentine's Day she donated 14 gallons of it to the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

"It got to the point where I had both deep freezers full," the 38-year-old told CNN. "So I had to keep pumping or get rid of it."

She didn't want it to go to waste, so a few months ago she called the lactation specialists at Avera McKennan to see what she could do.

"I was like, 'I want to donate some breast milk. How do I do this?'" she said.

The reason

Lanners says she knows how important breast milk is to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

She says she spent time in the NICU when her friend gave birth to two boys -- both born premature. While she was there, the nurses discussed with Lanners how important breast milk was to these babies.

"I have this ability to pump and make milk," she said. "I want to go ahead and help out those little kiddos that need it."

The process

Donating breast milk is a thoughtful idea, but there is definitely some red tape you have to go through to make it happen. Lynn Josten, a lactation specialist at Avery McKennan, said that milk donations are similar to blood donations. The people donating must go through screenings,in which they discuss, among other things, the health of the donor and their family.

Lanners had to get in contact with a representative at the Mother's Milk Bank of Iowa, on the University of Iowa's campus. She had a 20-minute phone conversation and then had to fill out a 30- to- 40-page form. The milk bank asked whether she was on any medication at the time of pumping and whether she took any supplements. Then the local clinic drew her blood to make sure she was healthy.

"The whole process took about three to four weeks," Lanners said.

Josten said that once the screening is completed, the milk is shipped to the milk bank.

All in all, eight coolers filled with Lanners' frozen breast milk bags were shipped to Iowa. Her milk would be enough to help around 2,000 babies, Lanners said. Even though she made the donation two months ago, a representative from Avera McKennan said the hospital just recently made the news public.

"The biggest reason why I wanted to do this (was) to bring awareness," Lanners said. "With how many little kids that are in the NICU right now they need every bit of help that they can get."

Lanners said she wants to donate more, since she keeps adding to her frozen milk supply every day.

"This is just one less thing for mommies to worry about," Lanners said. "That's really what it comes down to."

West Lafayette
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Rensselaer
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 69°
Crawfordsville
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 67°
Frankfort
Overcast
72° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 72°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events