Guest opinion: Donating and Getting Breast Milk Just Got a Whole Lot Easier.

In case you hadn’t heard, being a new parent is hard. Now, add a pandemic. Then, add a nationwide infant formula shortage. We can’t imagine what it must feel like to go to the grocery store to feed your child and find the shelves completely bare. Being a new parent in this time and space must be so much harder.

We couldn’t foresee the formula shortage, but we at Share the Drop have been thinking about how we feed our youngest population for a long time. As a doula, pre- and postnatal yoga instructor, and licensed clinical social worker, Kelly ran a feeding support group for new parents. She saw firsthand how feeding woes contributed to postpartum depression and anxiety. Celia–a mother of three, MBA, and milk donor herself–knew from experience that there were countless new parents searching the wilds of the internet for ways to feed their infants.


Both saw that cooperative feeding–the sharing of human milk between those with an excess milk supply and those in need–could relieve so much stress for new parents. For years, Kelly has been acting as a one-woman-milk-delivery machine, sourcing milk for those in need (breast cancer survivors, those with low milk supply or medication contraindications, gay couples, et cetera) and delivering it to families herself. 

One day, as she was trying to source milk for a breast cancer survivor, she got a notification from a dating app. She immediately saw the connection. If we can meet potential romantic partners this easily, shouldn’t parents be able to connect as well? The idea for Share the Drop was born. 


Share the Drop has been in development now for almost two years and is now available to the public. Why do we believe this is such an important tool for families? 


1. It can help solve food insecurity for our youngest population.


2. It empowers parents to make the choices that are best for their family needs.


3. It builds a community of support between families exchanging milk, allowing for deep human connection.

The app is easy to use: simply choose whether you are a donor or recipient, fill out a profile including the age of your child, dietary and medication restrictions, and how much milk you need, then set how far you are willing to travel to make the exchange. Then you match! Once you’ve found a match, you are able to message within the app. We encourage users to get to know their matches, ask for whatever medical paperwork makes them feel safe, and, when they are ready to meet, meet in a public space where they feel comfortable.


Share the Drop is here to support parents and caregivers, to make their feeding journeys a little easier, and to relieve some of the stress of new parenthood. 

We hope you’ll join the Share the Drop community! Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter @sharethedrop and visit sharethedrop.com for more information and to sign-up for our newsletter.

 

Note: The views expressed in this article belong to the authors.

About the Authors: Celia and Kelly are the founders of The Drop and are partnering with Lactation Lab to bring their app to as many families as possible. They can be found on the above social media platforms.

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