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Mothers donating breast milk to help others during formula shortage

Posted at 6:14 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 11:40:33-04

TULSA, Okla. — Some local Tulsa moms are stepping up to help those needing food for their babies.

Many local moms with a desire to help others during this national formula shortage are taking to Facebook to offer breast milk.

“I want to help where I can to make sure no mom and their baby is crying,” said Briana Quiroz who is donating breast milk.

Briana Quiroz has two toddlers. When her son was born he was in the NICU but winter snow and COVID kept her from always being there to feed him.

That's when donor milk helped feed her baby. Now she wants to give back.

“I had seen a mom that was generally worried," Quiroz said. "She said she was down to her last two bottles and after seeing that I was like that’s it I’m going to do something.”

She says others have offered to buy breast pumps, supplements, and bags.

An Ascension St. John pediatrician says it’s admirable to see mothers stepping up to help but families should be careful.

“They should have talked with this parent and had a relationship with them in terms of a knowledge about their health history and disease history as well as any medications they might be taking,” said St. John Pediatrician Dr. Courtney Sauls.

Dr. Sauls also urges parents to never buy breast milk from anyone but a milk bank as they do rigorous screening on the milk.

“The safest way to get milk is through a milk bank but that’s not practical for everybody, financially and what’s readily available," Dr. Sauls said. "I think if you have a level of trust with somebody that’s a personal risk-benefit ratio that you take upon yourself.”

She also wants mothers to know they shouldn’t feel obligated to help or guilty if they can't provide for more than just their child.

Quiroz says if you can’t donate milk, you should consider sharing what formula you find in the store.

“I mean all it takes is a picture and a post and someone out there is going to be able to get it,” Quiroz said.

Dr. Sauls recommends women who want to help by providing breast milk should check the CDC requirements on proper preparation and storage.

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