A mum who donated 65 litres of breast milk to parents – almost enough to fill a bathtub – has revealed how she was inundated with requests from ‘creepy’ men wanting her to nurse them.
Michele Oller, 34, gave birth to her first-born Lynnlee last February and soon found herself with a freezer full of surplus milk.
Wanting to put it to good use, she took to the internet and found a website dedicated to selling breast milk.
Uploading a post advertising the 14 gallons she had available, she thought she would connect with fellow mums.
But the pharmacist from Oklahoma ended up with requests from men who wanted photos of her and asked if she could nurse them.
When two months passed and she had still not received a single genuine request from a concerned parent, Michele took her advert down.
Luckily, soon after, she stumbled upon the Facebook group Human Milk 4 Human Babies, through which she found five parents to donate to.
Michele explained: ‘One site I used was full of strange men. I highly doubt they wanted the milk for their babies.
‘A few of them asked me for photos, which was creepy enough in itself, and said a lot about their motives.
‘I also got a couple of requests from men asking if I would physically nurse them.’
Michele says that donating the breast milk has been a rewarding experience as she wanted to help other parents.
‘It’s such a rewarding thing to do, and what really struck me is how many more women are looking for donations than there are women making them,’ she said.
‘If someone has a surplus, there are plenty of babies out there in need.’
Shortly after giving birth to Lynnlee, Michele realised she was producing more breast milk than required.
To prevent the surplus going to waste, she began storing it in her freezer.
Initially, she had planned to nurse Lynnlee for six months, but when she reached that milestone, she decided to keep going.
She added: ‘I had planned on weaning after six months, like a lot of other mothers. But after doing some research about the role breast milk can play – particularly in helping babies fight off infection – I decided I wanted to carry on.
‘I was going back to work around the same time and would have been exposed to all kinds of germs and bugs. I wanted to do whatever I could to protect Lynnlee.
‘When I found out my breast milk contained natural antibodies, I knew I had to keep it up.’
But, even with her newfound determination to breastfeed Lynnlee indefinitely, Michele was producing so much milk that it was clear she was not going to get through it all.
Expressing, on average, seven surplus litres per month, by November last year, her freezer was full to the brim.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, freshly expressed milk must only be stored for 12 months, so Michele began to fret it would go to waste.
Excited at the prospect of being able to donate her milk, Michele immediately looked into it – only to discover that her nearest bank was 120 miles away in neighbouring Texas.
Searching online instead, she found a website dedicated to selling breast milk.
Feeling uncomfortable about making a profit, she listed hers at $1(81p) per ounce.
Soon, her inbox was filling up with requests from interested buyers – but they were not new mothers.
‘I was expecting people to need the milk for newborn babies,’ she recalled. ‘Instead it was weird men with even weirder requests.’
Thankfully, in April 2020, Michele found an alternative in the form of volunteer network Human Milk 4 Human Babies in Oklahoma.
She said: ‘Straight away I knew this was the right place to donate my milk.
‘The group is specifically tailored to finding milk for newborns and you have to be approved by admin before you can enter.
‘One lady told me she was picking the milk up for a single dad who had lost his wife and the mother of his baby, which made the whole thing feel all the more worthwhile.’
Hoping to encourage other new mums to donate surplus breast milk whenever possible, Michele believes it is one of the most rewarding things she has ever done.
Adding that she is still breastfeeding Lynnlee, she concluded: ‘Everyone deserves access to breast milk if their baby needs it.’
Do you have a story?
Email [email protected] to tell us more.
Source: Read Full Article