Moms Share Breast Milk Locally - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Moms Share Breast Milk Locally

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Addie Olson

aolson@myabc5.com

@addieolson

A recent study looks at bacteria growth in breast milk that was bought online and shipped, but it also references an organization that shares milk just within communities.

LuCinda Beltman knew she wanted to breastfeed from the time she was pregnant with her first child.

"It's made by our bodies for our children, so it's the perfect food for them," she said.

But Beltman soon found out that she couldn't give her daughter that perfect food.

"The first night in the hospital they said I wasn't making enough milk so they were going to give her formula," said Beltman. "I cried and I cried."

She supplemented her daughter's diet with formula, but she didn't have to do that with her son.

"With my second I started pumping right away and realized that I had extra, and I knew that he wasn't going to use it, so I wanted someone to use it."

Lucinda went on to the Human Milk 4 Human Babies in Iowa Facebook page where women can donate their milk to other local moms who can't make their own.

The website was mentioned in the recent study by the pediatric journal, but the founder of HM4HB said she's not sure why.

"We're listed in the references section which I'm kind of wondering if this wasn't sort of a smear campaign against community milk sharing which is what we do," said founder Emma Kwasnica.

Crystal Steffen is a good friend of LuCinda's who also had trouble breastfeeding.

"As a mom I felt like that was something I should be able to provide for her, and I couldn't," said Steffen. "That was more heartbreaking for me than anything."

Milk-sharing with LuCinda gave Crystal the chance to feed her daughter breast milk.

"I think it's a wonderful thing that people can donate because there are premature babies and if there are other moms that felt like I did, you want to provide this and that's a very emotional time."

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