With no end in sight to the formula shortage, lifestyle content creator and new mom Lucie Fink is stepping up to help babies in need. She donates her excess breast milk and she credits her TikTok and Instagram followers in inspiring her to help.
“I had never thought about donating milk,” she said. “I’ve never known anyone who donated milk before.”
Fink is not shy about sharing intimate moments with his online audience. That includes when her son, Milo, was born last November. She shared everything from the birth process to her life after giving birth. But when it came to feeding Milo, Fink admits that pumping breast milk was a big mystery to her.
“People don’t tend to share a lot behind the scenes about pumping,” she said.
So Fink shared his journey by shooting a series of “Pump with Me” videos.
“It was something I had never seen before. And my audience found it fascinating.”
Fink said the excess milk started piling up in her freezer.
“All I knew was that my body was producing more milk than my son was currently drinking in a day,” she said.
Fink’s supporters urged her not to waste the milk and donate it instead. She said at the time she didn’t realize she could donate breast milk. She started the process by Googling, “How to donate my breast milk.”
After finding the New York Milk Bank, she went through a phone screening, online application and blood test. Fink also had to give permission for the milk bank to access her and Milo’s medical records.
While Fink started donating her excess milk before the formula shortage, she says with the current situation, it’s needed more than ever.
“It’s important to recognize that the milk sitting in your freezer is better served to a child who is in need right now, especially the really young babies in the NICU who are compromised because of their size and age,” she said.
The response to her donations has been “overwhelmingly positive and powerful,” Fink said, and she hopes sharing this part of her journey inspires others to do the same.
“The process was really very easy and simple because it sounds a little scary.”
She also has a message for mothers struggling to feed their young children right now.
“If you are affected by the formula deficiency, there are people and ways to connect to those people who have … an answer to your problem. … There is help in your community.”