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You've heard the term "milk machine" when it comes to breastfeeding, but a Texas woman has really taken the term to a whole new level. Alicia Richman of Granbury, Texas, has donated a record-breaking 11,115 ounces (or roughly about 87 gallons) to the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas, according to news reports from the local CBS affiliate station. (Click here to watch the video of the story.)
In September, officials from the Guinness World Records certified that the 28-year-old mother had set a new record for most breast milk donated, CBS-DFW reports. "Richman didn't just beat the old record, she crushed it! She donated 3,000 more ounces, some 23 gallons, than the previous record holder," according to the CBS-DFW article.
Richman says there came a point when she had filled two freezers with pumped milk and decided that she needed to put it to good use. She contacted the Mothers' Milk Bank of North Texas at the end of May 2011 and donated from June 9, 2011 until March 2012.
"I was so blessed to have more milk than I needed," Richman is quoted as saying. "I pumped at work, on vacations, in the car."
The Guinness website says her pumped milk is being stored and pasteurized to feed premature infants at local hospitals' neonatal intensive care units. All donating moms are screened for health issues and medication use.
Richman said it wasn't about breaking the record, she just wanted to help and bring awareness to the cause of community milk banks. The director of the North Texas milk bank is quoted by CBS-DFW as saying: "Three ounces of donor human milk could be as much as nine feedings for a premature baby."
Some moms are just not able to breastfeed. Fortunately, these women can still give their babies the breast milk they need thanks to women like Richman. Our Other Mothers' Milk page takes a look at the ways you might get your baby the breast milk he or she needs—even if it isn't your own.
"Now Richman's son is 19 months old and she is encouraging other mothers to try and beat her record. She says she plans on beating her own record when she has her second child," CBS-DFW reports.
If you're a nursing mother who produces more milk than you can store in your freezer, consider donating it to a milk bank near you. Visit the Human Milk Bank Association of North America website to find one.