Mom donates 14 gallons of breast milk to NICU babies in need

Amanda Lanners needed eight coolers to ship her donated breast milk.

(CNN)There are plenty of ways moms use extra breast milk. They pump it, dump it, save it, bake with it or even drink it (though health experts definitely caution against this). Amanda Lanners, a South Dakota mom of four, decided to donate it instead.

Lanners is currently breastfeeding her youngest child, and it takes only one day for her to pump around 72 ounces of breast milk. That makes for quite a surplus, so on Valentine's Day she donated 14 gallons of it to the Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
"It got to the point where I had both deep freezers full," the 38-year-old told CNN. "So I had to keep pumping or get rid of it."
She didn't want it to go to waste, so a few months ago she called the lactation specialists at Avera McKennan to see what she could do.
    "I was like, 'I want to donate some breast milk. How do I do this?'" she said.

    The reason

    Lanners says she knows how important breast milk is to babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
    She says she spent time in the NICU when her friend gave birth to two boys -- both born premature. While she was there, the nurses discussed with Lanners how important breast milk was to these babies.
    "I have this ability to pump and make milk," she said. "I want to go ahead and help out those little kiddos that need it."