A mother of three with a rare syndrome has donated over 350,000 ounces of breastmilk to children in need. Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra produces 200 ounces of breast milk per day, which comes out to be around 1.5 gallons. That’s 10 times more than the average mom!
The Oregon native has an extremely rare condition called hyperlactation syndrome, in which you over-produce breast milk. It typically occurs early in a mom’s breastfeeding journey, and causes full, leaking breasts that don’t noticeably soften after a feeding. Other symptoms include breast pain, severe engorgement, and painful milk letdowns.
Since Anderson-Sierra was diagnosed eight years ago, she has done something pretty amazing and turned lemons into lemonade. She has now donated a record-breaking 350,000 ounces. She needed to donate 54,091.94 US fl oz to officially break the Guinness World Record.
This record only counts the milk that she has donated to a milk bank and not any of the milk donations she’s done locally in her community, so she’s actually donated even more than what is officially documented.
Despite her amazing journey helping so many families, she also wants people to know that her condition comes with low-points.
“I would not wish this condition on my worst enemy,” she says in a video for Guinness World Records. “It is … it is not fun.”
“It’s like the best feeling ever,” she says referring to when her milk has been pumped. “…it lasts for only minutes before my body starts making milk again. Nobody wants to live like this. Nobody wants to live like this at all.”
She explained that despite the hardship her condition has brought to her life, she knows that her hyperlactation has helped so many premies and micropremies thrive to their full potential.
“I work with a lot of recipients that their child has been given that label, ‘failure to thrive,’” Anderson-Sierra continues. “Being able to turn that around and that label removed in so many different stories has just been everything to me and why I can continue doing what I do.”
In one recipient’s testimony, she shared that Anderson-Sierra “dropped everything” to help her when her milk wasn’t coming in after she gave birth.
“…they were gonna send us home with formula, and we really wanted to breastfeed him. She dropped everything and came to our house and sat for a couple of hours with us, taught me how to pump properly. Unfortunately, my milk never fully came in. So, we just continue with the donor milk from her. I can’t imagine raising our boys without her help of donor milk,” she said.
When Anderson-Sierra got the news that she had officially beaten the record, she shared the news on social media in a heartwarming post.
“I want to thank my husband, my children, my friends and family, recipients and my incredible colleagues for everything that has supported me throughout these last 9 years. Thank you to each of you here, leaving comments and support. It lifts me up and fills my cup, which as you can see, is always pouring out,” she joked.