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The following comments are from parents who have either donated milk or received donor milk for their children.

GRATITUDE from Recipients



Baby Felix LaPlace"My son, Felix, was born on September 16, 2016. It was love at first sight, but we couldn't take him home right away because he had jaundice. I wasn’t producing milk yet, so the WakeMed team offered us the option of formula or donor milk from the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank. Initially, I was skeptical about receiving donor milk from people I didn’t know, but my dad was familiar with human milk donation in his career in another state. He told me it was a good idea, so we did it — I decided I wanted breast milk over formula, especially to start. After we left the hospital, I thought everything was fine, but it turned out my son had a milk allergy. We were supplementing my breast milk with formula, and Felix was getting sick from the formula. He was vomitting constantly and had diarrhea. He lost a bunch of weight in just one week, so we decided to go back to the milk bank and purchase milk for him. Many of my breastfeeding mom friends offered me their own milk free of charge, but I felt uncomfortable with that idea because the milk didn’t go through any process to get tested. I couldn’t be sure it was safe for my son, so I stayed with the milk bank where milk is pasteurized and processed. Felix got over his milk allergy eventually. Today he's healthy, and we are so grateful for the milk bank. We are having another baby, and hopefully, I will have a good milk supply, but if not, we hope to use the milk bank again."


"I consider breast milk to be 'liquid gold.' Being able to feed my son donor milk after we adopted him made all the difference in the world."

BABY EMILY'S grandmother

"To see such a weak little baby respond so quickly to the precious mothers' milk and to see her grow and develop into such a happy, healthy little girl has been miraculous."


"My son was fine while I breastfed him for six months. But when I started supplementing with formula, the eczema began, and he was hospitalized several times.  He was started on donor milk at one year of age. He is now 3 1/2 years old and still receiving donor milk. This is the only complete protein he gets.  Since he is allergic to meat, eggs, dairy and corn, he is on a 21-day rotation diet of grains and beans. He is a very bright boy and doing well.  The banked milk saved his life."

BABY QUINN'S father (mother died soon after giving birth to Quinn)

"The WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank proved invaluable for providing my premature daughter with the healing donor milk she needed for her development."

LOVE from Donors

KAREEMA, a donor mother

 I gave birth in April 2022 and shortly, thereafter, learned about the formula shortage. I researched how I could help babies in need. That's when I learned about the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank, and I felt I had to help. My baby boy had plenty to share. Breast milk sets the foundation for a healthy gut, healthy brain development and strong immune system.

I have now given approximately 2,000 ounces. It warms my heart each time I pack and organize my milk for the babies. It makes me happy and increases my gratitude. When I have shared my experience donating, many moms have shared how they will do it too when they deliver next time. One grandmother shared how she will encourage her adult children to donate.

To others considering donating, do it. It’s not an inconvenience. It will be life-changing for you and the families who will receive your milk. Remember, your breast milk will truly help the babies fight their fight and live strong!

MODESTY, a donor mother

“I had Mavrick on March 14, 2023, and I started donating before his first birthday. Because Mavrick refused a bottle, I had an abundance of milk that I didn't want to waste, so I got in touch with my lactation consultant here in Wilmington, NC, who told me about the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank. I've given a little over 2000 ounces. Knowing how precious and beneficial breast milk is and was for my children, I wanted to give other babies the same opportunity. Giving to the Milk Bank is also a joy because Mrs. Lori is a dream to work with. I feel like I know her personally. She is so sweet and makes everything a breeze.”

REGINA, a donor mother

"I had my first baby on December 26, 2019, and I decided to donate in April 2020 because I saw an advertisement on Facebook that showed how much breast milk can help babies in the NICU. It mentioned how I could help, why some moms cannot provide milk for their babies and statistics on the survival rates for these babies.

“My father is a blood donor, and my parents have always been involved in helping others. When I learned about milk donation, I got excited because it was something I could do!

“On July 27, 2022, I had my second child and have continued giving to the WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank because I want to build a legacy of generosity for my children to follow. Donating milk requires waking up earlier, pumping more than is needed and taking the milk to the hospital — but it is worth it. Not all moms have enough milk or can breastfeed their babies, but I can help, and the extra effort makes a real difference.”

YING YING, a donor mother

"My daughter was born a month early on April 1, 2022. I wasn't producing any breast milk yet, so WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank provided my daughter with donor milk. I remember crying and feeling so helpless during that time. Before long, my milk came in, and I ended up with lots of freezer stacks because my daughter would only breastfeed. That's when I thought about WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank and how they'd helped me in my time of need.

"I applied to become a donor for the Milk Bank and have thus far donated 940 ounces. I would encourage any mother with extra freezer stacks to donate. It really helps other moms and babies. I am grateful that I am able to help just as I was helped in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey."

LYDIA, a donor mother

"I had my son on January 19, 2023. I quickly became an over-producer, so I decided to pump for about six months and use my freezer stash to finish out his first year. As my freezer stash grew larger than I expected, I started looking at donating and found out about the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank. The process to become an approved donor was easy, and I have donated 4,000 ounces thus far.

"Exclusively pumping takes time and effort. Any plan to leave the house for the day requires planning and packing of all pump supplies. Some days, I look forward to being done, but for now, I remind myself how blessed I am to produce the amount of milk I do. Plus, I’ve encountered many helpful ladies from the Milk Bank. They always send the sweetest messages after each donation and provided me a carrier to pick up my milk, making it easier than ever! To any woman considering becoming a donor, know that you won’t regret the comfort you receive in supporting another life."

LESLIE, a donor mother

"I gave birth to my fourth child on July 31, 2022. She had latch issues due to her upper lip tie, so I had to exclusively pump for her. I knew from experience that I was an overproducer, so I could either pump just long enough to store frozen milk to get my child through the first year, or I could pump for at least an entire year and donate the excess throughout the journey. I felt a strong calling to donate, so that's what I've done. I am a registered nurse and have even pumped throughout 12-hour shifts in the Operating Room and to/from work during my commute. It has been the hardest, most exhausting, but most rewarding journey. I've had friends and coworkers ask me why I do it. I do it for my babies and for all the babies in the NICU. I do it because it’s a way to give back during a time of such great need. My last child spent three days in the intensive care nursery and was eligible for donor milk. I also trained in the intensive care nursery and transitional care unit as a nursing student, and I’ve seen sweet babies there long term, relying on donor milk for every feed.

"Donating has been a family effort, and I am so proud of myself and my family for helping watch my littles while I pump. Without my support system, I would not have been able to donate 6,994 ounces. That is over 54 gallons! July 31, 2023, marks one year of this pumping and donating journey. I am proud to do this, and every donation has been sent with so much love. Thank you to everyone at WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank. Donating my milk will always be the greatest gift I could ever give."

KRIS, a donor mother

"My daughter was born August 2, 2022. I had quite an oversupply, so I started donating milk to my family and friends since we all had infants at the same time. I thought about donating to the Milk Bank once I returned to work as a Mother and Baby nurse at WakeMed Cary Hospital. I knew there was a great need. But, with adjusting to becoming a new mom, I never had a chance to get my blood drawn and go through the screening process. That’s when the Milk Bank had an event at WakeMed Cary Hospital in May 2023, and I knew it was my time to sign up! It was super easy! That day, I got my blood work done and my paperwork sent for approval. I have been donating ever since! In total, I have donated over 3,000 ounces. I love giving my milk to others! The process has been very easy and uncomplicated! I’m so thankful that Jesus blessed me with an oversupply in order to be a blessing to others. It’s amazing to think about how my body could be helping a tiny baby thrive and grow in the NICU!

"For interested moms, know that breastfeeding is hard work. Pumping and washing pump parts is also hard work, but this process is very rewarding! The bond created between my little one and me as well as the joy in helping others is something that I will cherish forever. It’s amazing what a woman’s body can do, and breastfeeding is a sacrifice that moms make. I’m eternally grateful for the experience I have had."

ABIGAIL, a donor mother

"As a dietitian, I’ve learned about the benefits of breast milk, nutritionally and beyond. I knew I wanted to do my best to give my daughter breast milk exclusively. We had a rocky start to breastfeeding in the hospital, and I thought we would have to supplement with formula, but then the WakeMed staff gave me the option of donor milk. I am so glad this option is available to new parents.  

"Now it's my turn to give. I have been exclusively pumping for six months, my daughter is healthy and I produce much more than she needs. I love donating my extra supply to help other babies! It’s so rewarding to give back to the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank that was there for me in my vulnerable moments of new motherhood. I plan to donate milk as long as I can. "  

INDIA, a donor mother

"My interest in donating breast milk started when my freezer began to fill up from pumping, and my son started to lose interest in bottles — but it quickly became more than that for me. After I reached out and started learning more about how the milk was used for the NICU and fragile babies, I felt a desire to use what resources I had to help those babies and their caregivers. I was reminded of my own experience losing my daughter to pregnancy complications five years earlier and how helpless I felt. The heartbreak of caring for someone so deeply and longing to do anything to give her life was almost unbearable. Donating my breast milk has helped me honor the memory of my daughter and the bonding I missed out on when I lost her. Knowing the milk I donated has helped a baby in need has been a sweet and healing process for me."  

COSETTE, a donor mother

"As a medical provider and first-time mom in 2019, I knew I wanted to provide my children with the nutrition of breast milk. However, like many mothers, I wondered whether my body would be able to produce enough milk for my baby.

"I was very blessed with an overabundant milk supply for both children so far. I am now a mother of two, and we've made a special tradition that my babies donate the gift of this extra milk they don't need to help babies who could use it. It is their first act of kindness."

JC, a donor mother

"With our first daughter, I was unable to breastfeed but had a substantial supply, so I exclusively pumped until six months postpartum, and the pumped milk lasted through her first birthday. Our second daughter breastfeeds like a champ, so I would like to keep feeding her until at least her first birthday. I still pump, though, both to keep up my supply for her, but also to keep bottles on hand.

"I was blessed with more than she needs, so I was grateful to find the Milk Bank. I recently learned just one ounce is all that's needed for one feeding. One ounce! Yes, pumping takes time (and there are lots of extra dishes every day), but it is worth it knowing I am not only able to provide food for our own daughter, but also help other babies who need life-sustaining nourishment. Grateful for the Milk Bank and all its miracle workers."  

CHRISSY, a donor mother

"After my third child was born, I knew I wanted to donate any excess milk to a local milk bank. I was ecstatic to learn how easy and streamlined the process was to become a donor, drop off my milk donations and ask any questions. The staff members were great to work; they even acknowledged my donation with a printable certificate (which I framed). I exclusively pumped for all of my kids. Pumping is exhausting and definitely a labor of love, but knowing that I was able to help so many babies survive and thrive means so much to me. I can think of no better place to donate milk than the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank."

KATIE, a donor mother

"Evan was born after a 30-hour labor which ended in a C-section. Being my third child, I thought once she was born, breastfeeding would be a breeze. Nope!

"She didn’t latch right away or for several hours after her birth. I thought she was tired after a traumatic delivery; turns out she was tongue- and lip-tied and was physically incapable of latching. While still trying to figure this out, WakeMed’s nurses offered us donor milk as a way to bridge the gap between where we were and where we were trying to go. For the first five days of her life, Evan basically only consumed donor milk, and I mixed in a few drops of what I could hand express. The donor milk was there for us when we needed assistance.

"Those first days and weeks were tough. She received her tongue- and lip-tie diagnosis around 10 days old and had her corrective surgery at about two weeks. After her release, it took us about two weeks to teach her how to breastfeed successfully, but once she figured it out, nursing became her favorite activity! Now, she is exclusively breastfed. And, ironically, with the child that had the most difficulty breastfeeding, I have the best milk supply — enabling me to donate milk to the milk bank.

"I feel as though we are completing the circle. Evan needed help in her early days, and the mothers who donated their breast milk gave us that. Now, I get to repay the favor. I was grateful when Evan was a recipient, and now I am proud to be a donor."

LINDSAY, a donor mother

"My first baby switched back and forth from breast to bottle easily. Looking back, I think it's because she was the first grandchild, so everyone who visited wanted a chance to feed her, resulting in an earlier introduction of bottles. Then came our second baby, who was born during COVID-19. I ended up exclusively breastfeeding because we had fewer visitors, and we really didn't want to wash bottles if we didn't have to. When it was time for me to return to work, she wouldn't take a bottle! We never anticipated this because our first baby had zero issues with bottle feeding. My husband and I tried every trick in the book to get her to take a bottle, but nothing worked. My freezer was filling up with milk I pumped that she wouldn't drink. One of the moms I worked with heard about my dilemma and directed me to the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank, where she had donated breast milk. It was the perfect solution because I needed to pump at work and before bed to keep my supply up, but my own baby wouldn't drink the milk. I'm so happy that the milk I've pumped can help feed other babies in the community."

PEAR, a donor mother

"I never thought I could do this, but trust me — it feels amazing that my breast milk could help many newborn babies. I know my baby is happy to share his milk too."

ASHLEY, a donor mother

"We had our daughter in 2016, and I knew I wanted to breastfeed. Our daughter had a hard time latching, and we made it until five weeks. At five weeks, I exclusively pumped, and we were both much happier. I was blessed that I had tons of milk and eventually filled up our freezer and was trying to figure out what to do with the surplus milk. I was not ready to stop pumping but was quickly running out of room to store milk. I got online to see what options there were out there. I ran across WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank. It was local to NC, and my milk would help babies on the East Coast. I knew this was the one for me. I wanted to help babies close to home. I was able to make two donations and still had plenty for our daughter. We had our second child, a little boy, in 2021. Our breastfeeding journey has been very successful, and again, I have an abundance of milk. I knew from the time we found out we were pregnant again that we would donate to the milk bank. It blesses us so much to know that we are able to help other mothers and babies. Both of my children have LOVED their "milk milk" from me, and it makes my heart so happy to know we are able to share that with other babies." 

ALINA, a donor mother

"Luckily, WakeMed Cary Hospital is very close to me, so I got information from there about the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank. I was in awe of the strict approval process donors go through, but the staff was amazing and supportive throughout. I began collecting milk in November 2020 right after my daughter was born. I would breastfeed her and then since she slept throughout the night, I would wake up full and pump most of that milk to save. I dropped off 124 ounces in May of 2021.

"I decided to be a donor because when I was pregnant I heard about donor programs, and I thought it was a very good opportunity to do something for somebody else. I think that when women become moms, we just become more emotional about babies' well-being, in general, and I just got to thinking about what I could do to help. I felt so thankful that my baby was healthy and strong, and then I thought of moms who couldn't produce milk or who had fragile babies in the NICU. I felt any little bit I could do to help could make a difference. That's what made this meaningful to me."

AUSTIN, a donor mother

"I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at 30 weeks. Fortunately, I was able to remain diet-controlled and was induced with my son at 40 weeks exactly. Of course, ensuring that his blood sugars were in line post-delivery was of utmost importance. One of his was a little low the day after delivery. We were given an option of using donor milk to make sure he was getting enough to eat. We were fine with this as I had read about the milk bank years before and knew there were strict standards for donors. We passed our next blood sugar check and were able to go home!

"Once home, I couldn’t help but think how much I’d like to repay that favor that a donor did for us. Plus, I feel strongly that breastfeeding played a part in keeping my son safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. If I can help a sick, fragile baby thrive, I’m all for it. The application and donation process could not have been easier."

LISA, a donor mother

"I liked knowing that my milk, which made my baby so healthy and strong, could also help other babies."

VICTORIA, a donor mother

"I had so much extra milk because my little girl was premature and didn't drink very much. I wanted to share it with others."

TRACI, a donor mother

"When Noah died, I felt that a little part of him lived on in the babies we were able to help with my breast milk."

ELLIE, a donor mother

"I heard about the milk bank through a mutual mom — we had both given birth recently to our first and were learning all of the ins and outs of mothering, breastfeeding, etc. Breastfeeding was HARD for me at first, and it took a few months for my daughter and I to really figure it out. Once we did, I had a great appreciation for the value of breast milk for babies, and I ended up with extra to share. It felt so awesome to provide for other babies!"

STACY, a donor mother

"As an expectant mother, I knew I wanted to provide breast milk for my child to give him the best possible nutrition. However, when six-pound Alden was born at 37 weeks via C-section, neither he nor my body was ready for breastfeeding. We tried multiple times in the first couple of days, but he didn’t have a very good latch, and I wasn’t producing enough to keep him properly fed; he began to lose too much weight.

"At that point, one of the lactation consultants at the hospital suggested I supplement with donor milk while we were there and mentioned the Bridge Bag program to us so that we could continue supplementing after we went home. I was overjoyed to find out these programs were available and that I would be able to supplement with breast milk while my milk supply came in and I could pump enough to feed my baby."

ALLISON, a donor mother

"Our story is simply that I had more milk stored than we needed! I found the WakeMed Mothers' Milk Bank and thought it was amazing that my extra milk could be used to help babies that needed it!"

ALISSA, a donor mother

"I didn't know a thing about milk donation before my first was born in 2018. While in the hospital those first few days, he wasn't gaining weight, so the nurses offered supplemental donor milk. I'll never know the parents who donated, but I'll always be grateful. Back home, I was able to nurse and pump and found myself with a lucky problem — a packed freezer. I knew exactly what to do and signed up to be a donor. When my second was born in 2020, I was fortunate again to have more than enough and immediately signed up to donate once more. I'm grateful for the chance to give back."

KRISTEN, a donor mother

"Working as a Mother Baby Nurse, I love being able to help newborns and their parents in every way possible. I happened to overproduce with both of my children and knew donating the excess milk would be able to help other babies in need. To be able to "nurse" newborns in two different ways is so rewarding, and I'm grateful to know that all of the milk is going to such a great cause!"

KENDRA, a donor mother

“After a few setbacks with breastfeeding in the first week of Amelia’s life, I was determined to get her breast milk any way I could. I turned to exclusive pumping and was so relieved to be successfully producing.

"In four weeks or so, I realized how much milk I was overproducing. After filling our deep freezer with enough milk to prepare for my return to work, I wanted to share the oversupply I was lucky to be making.

"Working at UNC Children’s Hospital, I’m very familiar with the fragility of NICU babies. It’s been so gratifying to be able to donate and provide for those families in need of milk. Donating is also a great motivator when I want to give up exclusive pumping!”

KUDOS to Surrogate Donors

LAURA, a surrogate donor

Laura a Milk Bank Donor

"I have delivered four babies at WakeMed hospitals. My two children and a set of twins for another couple. When my daughter was born, she struggled to latch and was given donor milk while at WakeMed Cary which is where I learned about the milk bank. We eventually figured out breastfeeding, and due to all the extra pumping, I did for her in the beginning I was able to donate a little over 100 ounces back in 2015. With my second child, I didn’t have to pump until later and didn’t have the extra supply to donate, and I was sad about that. But with this most recent pregnancy, I knew that I again wanted to give back, and after providing milk for the twins for two months while they were still in the US, I continued pumping and was able to donate over 650 ounces.

"Being lucky enough to have an abundant supply, it felt like the right way for me to give back to both the hospital where they took such good care of my babies as well as help give other babies a good start at life and a better chance at survival for those born prematurely."

SHANNON, a surrogate donor

"I donated to the milk bank with my most recent surrogate experience; that baby is about four months old. With this particular family, we agreed to six weeks of breastmilk for the baby. I did end up providing for about eight weeks. They were comfortable transitioning to formula and the baby was thriving. I felt I could keep pumping and would take my time weaning. I had always wanted to donate to the milk bank or a family with a medically fragile infant. The milk bank offers a trusted way for infants to get breast milk because of the screening and pasteurization process. I know that means a lot to parents. It is important for parents who want so badly for their infant to get breast milk to get over that hump until their own supply comes in, maybe there are reasons they will not have a supply, or just having that as an option in the hospital setting. I was very lucky to breastfeed my own children, and I know how much it meant to me to be able to give that to them.

"I also work as a nurse at WakeMed on a unit that provides donor breast milk for infants. I see the benefit for infants as well as the importance for parents to help bridge that gap. I have been lucky enough to have fairly uncomplicated pregnancies with term, healthy deliveries. I also have an ample milk supply. I am aware that every woman has their own journey, and things do not always go as planned. Every baby deserves a healthy start, and every parent deserves the opportunity to offer breast milk if that is what they desire. In my work as a nurse, my pregnancies and the breast milk I have provided, I just try do for all these babies what I would want for my own children. I'm grateful for the amazing families I have worked with and the opportunities to help even more babies through milk donation."