INDIANAPOLIS — The baby formula shortage is not the only shortage impacting mothers. Breast milk donations are also in limited supply.
“When the freezer starts getting empty, you start to go into this panic,” said Rebecca Maddox.
Maddox isn't talking about frozen food or meat, but what some people call "liquid gold" - breast milk. The issue is, the supply for her grandson, Vincent, is running low.
“Right now, we are good for about a week and a half. We’ve had gracious people to help us,” Maddox said.
While many mothers are looking everywhere for baby formula, Rebecca is trying to find breast milk for Vincent.
“We tried and tried to put him on formula. All different types of formula, but it just makes him unbelievably sick,” Maddox said.
To make matters more difficult, a serious car accident left Vincent's mom, Kharisma, unable to produce milk.
“It’s literally like you’re hunting for food for your family. It just so happens to be that my daughter and I are hunting for breast milk so my grandson can grow and be healthy,” Maddox said.
Vincent is almost a year old and has aged out of the Milk Bank program. Maddox was forced to turn to social media to ask other mothers for help.
“You basically have to sit on your phone constantly to find that one mom that has, even if it’s 40 ounces, and you have to drive 20 minutes away for 40 ounces of breast milk. It’s worth it. There’s such limited supply,” Maddox said.
Tiera Robinson is one of the mothers who answered the call. She regularly supplies Vincent with breast milk when she has extra. She’s noticed an increase in mothers asking for help online.
“I’m just so grateful and really thanking God for the opportunity to feed my baby, but also to help feed other babies. If they didn’t have this milk, I don’t know what would happen,” Robinson said.
As the hunt for breast milk continues, Maddox hopes more mothers with milk will think of the babies who have no other options.
“Just share as much as you can, so the babies can be healthy and us mothers and grandmas don’t have to spend our lives hunting for the next meal for our babies,” Maddox said.