An Orange Park Medical Center nurse in Florida has donated more than 100 bags of her very own breast milk to help premature babies not just on Florida's First Coast, but also the United States.
Lauren Hodges is a transition nursery nurse. She recently had her second baby, Barret, and said she ended up producing more than enough breast milk to feed him.
"I was pumping like 16 ounces to 20 ounces just in one pump session in the morning time," she said. She said that's more than two cups per session.
Immediately, Hodges said she knew she wanted to donate her extra breast milk to babies in need. She said her experience working with premature babies inspired her to make a difference.
"I've seen babies not survive because of formula in their bellies," Hodges said. "Formula can be devastating to a premature baby's gut. Breast milk is natural. They digest it a lot easier."
As a result, Hodges donated 184 bags of breast milk to Mothers Milk Bank of Florida, an organization that helps babies in need. She said 100 bags of breast milk equates to more than seven gallons of milk or 940 ounces. A premature baby only needs an ounce for an entire day.
"I'd feed them all if I could," she said.
Hodges said breastfeeding and pumping is not an easy process.
"I know the struggle every day, pumping... breastfeeding is hard," she said. "I know it's very hard to breastfeed just one, so I'm just honored that I was able to give the milk I gave."
Women interested in donating breastmilk can call the Orange Park Medical Center's Lactation Department at 904-639-3515 to get the process started.