San Jose milk bank reaching out to breast-feeding moms during formula shortage

A mother in South Bay is stepping up to donate breast milk after hearing about the baby formula shortage happening across the country. 

She took to social media to tell other moms that they can get help to feed their baby. 

Mothers’ Milk Bank is a non-profit organization that has been helping moms feed their babies human breast milk for decades. They welcome moms like Crystal Welsh and others to safely donate here to babies in need.                                                   

As the mother of a two-year-old daughter, Crystal Welsh says, it’s been on her heart to donate milk since her baby was born. 

"I remember bringing home my baby after giving birth and I was sitting in the rocking chair feeding her. I just kept thinking to myself of all the other moms out there who can’t breastfeed their kids or don’t have the formula," Welsh said.  

Welsh sent out this tweet announcing she’s willing to donate her breast milk to any mom in need. She says she cleared it with her doctor and will clear it with anyone else’s doctor when requested. Welsh has not donated to a milk bank yet but, she wants to send other moms a clear message. 

"Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I mean this is your baby’s well-being."

Donating milk isn’t a simple process. Jonathan Bautista is the Exec. Dir of Mothers’ Milk Bank in San Jose. He says all donations are screened and donators have to take an infectious disease test before the milk is accepted and processed. 

"So we’re seeing about a 20% in demand compared to the same time last year. We’re seeing it across the board from hospitals and outpatients. We really can’t point the finger towards formula shortages because we don’t get that information when the requests are made," Bautista said.  

Last week, Datasembly reported that 40-50% of major formula brands were sold out in 26 states and say supply chain issues are likely to blame. Major retailers like Walmart and Target are also starting to limit the number of baby formula products bought in one purchase. 

"My wish is to raise the awareness of milk donation to the same level as blood donation. When we raise that awareness it gives us the ability to the inventory for the increase in demand that we’re seeing," Bautista said.  

Mothers' Milk Bank says anyone can request a milk donation and anyone can donate milk as long as they pass the screening. 

For more information about receiving or donating breast milk, click Mothers' Milk Bank.