Supermum Emma encourages other women to donate breast milk

Emma with her children Ita and Eoin.
Emma with her children Ita and Eoin.

Emma Craddock is one of the those women Ann McRea describes as a supermum.

As well as feeding her own children Emma also donated 10 litres of milk to the bank - three litres with her first baby Ita, and seven with her son Eoin.

“I’m a pharmacist so I know all the benefits of giving a baby breast milk,” said Emma.

The Derry mum found out about the milk bank through her Surestart group midwife Margaret Fisher.

“I had great support when I started feeding because my sisters had fed their babies,” she said. “I really wanted to breast feed and after four or five weeks I was in a routine.

“It was great going to a breastfeeding support group because we were all having the same issues with babies waking at night and it made you feel that you were not alone and other people were going through it too.”

Emma said when she read a leaflet on the milk bank she decided to give it a go.

“You start with trial bottles” she said. “You start expressing and freezing. The instructions are really easy and there’s support at the end of the phone if you need to know anything.

“Margaret arranged for me to have a double breast pump and I don’t think I could have done it without the pump.”

Emma said donating was so rewarding as she received a letter telling her how many babies the milk helped.

“The milk I expressed with Ita helped two other babies. And I’m still waiting to find out how many babies the milk I expressed with Eoin helped,” she said.

“I’d say to other mums to give it a try,” she said. “The minimum donation is three litres. That sounds like a lot but there’s no time limit.

“When you read the stories of where the milk goes you realise how worthwhile this is and how important it is.”