ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - A St. Louis area mom is being applauded on social media for her donation to flood victims in Texas.
She found a unique way to help other families who lost everything after Harvey. Now, a cooler of her breast milk is on its way to Texas. But the story behind her supply is just as heartwarming.
From her home in Owensville, MO, Danielle Palmer said she was devastated watching the flooding in Houston.
"I can’t imagine being in a situation where you’re losing everything and just the fear of all of that," said Palmer via a Skype interview with News 4. "All I could do was sit and pray for the moms and dads and kids. Beauty can come from this. It won’t be bad forever."
Then, the mother of three found another way to show her support. She says her son's speech therapist, who is part of the organization Guiding Star Missouri, approached her about donating some of her extra breast milk. She proudly packed up a cooler full.
"We gave 1,040 ounces and we figured that up, if a normal baby gets three ounces, that's 346 feedings," said Palmer.
It's a supply she wouldn't even have, had it not been for the trials of her youngest son.
"Truett has a congenital heart defect along with other underlying anomalies. For a big chunk of his life, he was unable to take my milk. Most of his nutrition came through IV," said Palmer.
The donated milk will go to moms who lost their frozen supply when power went out, those whose pumps floated away with flood waters, or ones who just aren't able to produce right now.
"With breast feeding, stress plays a big role in your supply. If you become stressed, your supply will drop," said Palmer.
Palmer says the organization who contacted her about the donation is packing a deep freezer with other donated milk, along with other supplies for families. They plan to drive it to Dallas where it will then be distributed as needed. Palmer explained that milk that is donated to a bank is rigorously tested but milk sharing between moms is another common route, albeit not many people talk about it.
Not only is it perfectly legal, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), human breast milk is not listed as a body fluid that requires for special handling precaution. The CDC goes on to state, "HIV and other serious infectious diseases can be transmitted through breast milk.
However, the risk of infection from a single bottle of breast milk, even if the mother is HIV positive, is extremely small. For women who do not have HIV or other serious infectious diseases, there is little risk to the child who receives her breast milk."
Now, the picture of the gift from Danielle and Truette to Texas moms is being shared all over Facebook.
"We have each other’s backs. We take care of each other. Breastfeeding is hard. Whether you're pumping or feeding or however it may be, it's hard. And we are like momma bears. We protect one another," said Palmer.
She hopes each bottle will bring nutrition to babies and relief to moms.
"With Truett's heart defect, I don't take that lightly but I also know I'm grateful for the situation God placed us in. It’s given us the opportunity to do other things, I mean had we not been in this situation, we wouldn’t be able to share some of our love with the babies in Houston," said Palmer.
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