Gayle McGlaufin of Topsfield and her 9-month-old infant Ayla were the guests of honor last week at the Grand Opening of the only Human Milk Bank Depot on the North Shore and Merrimack Valley.
As the first to donate milk to the North Andover milk bank on the morning of Thursday, April 9, the Topsfield Mom was happy to present a large bag containing 151 ounces of breast milk, packaged in 5-ounce increments, to the Acelleron Maternal Health & Wellness center, located 16 High St., Suite 201, North Andover last Thursday morning.
Acelleron® has partnered with the Mothers’ Milk Bank Northeast (MMBNE) to open the human milk bank depot for families, prospective donors, health care providers, hospitals and community members.
McGlaufin, who collected the milk over the past three months, said she pumped milk almost every except when her daughter was sick or going through a growth spurt and needed more milk.
Megan O’Neill, a North Andover resident who is the director of lactation support at the health and wellness center, said, “We are very proud to be the first milk donor depot on the North Shore and Merrimack Valley.” She also encourages young moms to stop by their High Street location for support and information on everything from prenatal care to breastfeeding tips to postpartum fitness.
The mother of two explained that she is a stay-at-home mom and has been producing so much milk that her freezer was getting over-filled. “I thought, why not donate it. I didn’t want to throw it out and be wasteful.”
McGlaufin is also a postpartum doula and kids fitness instructor at the North Andover Maternal Health & Wellness in North Andover. “Coincidentally, I was already in the process of donating my breast milk when this came about so I was glad to be the first person to donate through Acelleron.
As a doula, McGlaufin helps families, especially moms, adjust to motherhood or to welcome the addition of a new baby to an already existing family. “I help with breastfeeding, newborn care, sibling care, light household chores, errands, and whatever else mom (and family) may need as they recover from childbirth and settle into life with baby,” she said.
“ I didn’t know there was such a thing as milk donation with my first daughter” who is a 3-year-old toddler who attends the Joyful Noises Preschool in Topsfield, she said.
Being able to drop off the milk rather than ship it makes it so much easier, she added.
”I had planned to ship the milk to Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast in Newton then coincidentally finished my screening last week just as they were getting ready to open the depot at Acelleron in North Andover. So I figured I’d drop it off there instead,” explained McGlaufin.
Read full story: Topsfield Mom is first donor at Human Milk Bank By Kathryn O’Brien, Wicked Local