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Monday, February 13th, 2012 04:59 pm
I have heard back from one of the two milk banks with local collection centers. It is the one I was more hopeful would let me donate, as their site lists recipient categories where I hoped that Claritin in my system would not necessarily be an issue.

For NICU babies and other fragile infants, it would be - they don't want any unexpected medicines/substances there. But these folks also list babies whose own mothers can't supply milk due to their medications, multiples whose mothers don't have enough milk, etc. - not categories that are guaranteed to be medically fragile. And their web site says that if you take medicines other than the standard list of known-okay ones, you need to contact them to see if you can donate. So I was mildly hopeful, but only mildly.

No, they won't, but they'll be happy to take any milk I express starting a few days after I stop taking the claritin, when it will have fully left my system. Except claritin is a daily/maintenance medication that I've been taking for years, and without it my allergies (which occasionally manage to be annoying anyway) peak and are miserable, sometimes leading to sinus infections from the congestion. If I were to stop taking the claritin, it'd be to try something else, NOT to go without an antihistamine.

I still have a query into the other milk bank, but their web site is more crisply cut and says no other medications. I asked anyway, but I don't hold out high hopes.

The minimum donation for the milk bank that has already responded is around 100 ounces. For the other, it's around 150. This can be gathered over weeks or months if need be. I'm getting 10-15 ounces more than Ian needs per day. If I didn't take Claritin, most of that could be donated. (Being realistic, I occasionally take a Tylenol or a Sudafed PE and I'd need to not collect for them for a certain amount of time after either, I suppose, so not all of it would be able to be donated, but most.)

There's a group trying to start a milk bank here in the northwest. They're still gathering funding, though they've had space donated by one of the local health organizations. I sent them some money. It may be the only kind of donation I CAN make for this cause, which is frankly heartbreaking but still better than no contribution at all.

I hate my allergies more than usual today. LOTS more than usual, since I'm fairly used to them, but very unhappy about the sheer waste they are causing.

(And yes, before anyone says it, I know some people do person-to-person donation. I am not comfortable with the legal and medical risks therein, even with all precautions that can be taken within that setting.)
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 12:58 pm (UTC)
Just a thought. Maybe you could directly donate through your doctor or something. It could be anonymous and maybe she knows someone who needs it.

(This is way out of my knowledge base, lol)
Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC)
Sympathy. We talked about this at Conflikt, I remember. I'd hoped you could find somewhere; this just seems so silly. I'm sorry they're being ridiculous about it. Yes, I do understand why they don't let preemies have anything whatsoever, but I agree with you about most milk banks serving plenty of families whose babies are fine, but there's some reason why its own mother can't nurse it successfully. You'd think they'd want to free up as much as possible of the 'pure' milk supply for the preemies and delicate ones, by giving milk like yours to the ones who can take it.
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Argh. Yeah, okay, this makes economic sense, unfortunately. "Whenever anyone asks 'Why don't they...?' the answer is always 'money.'"

I take it the allergies are year-round?
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
Ugh. That's what it was sounding like. Sorry to hear it, it does indeed sound unfun, and not just because it means you can't donate breast milk. *hug*
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah. Wish I could offer you a piece of mine; I have the world's most laid-back histamine system. It doesn't even react to bee stings or poison ivy the way almost everyone's does.