PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A mother from Aloha is being hailed a superhero for helping hundreds of families around the world and recently broke the Guinness World Record for the largest breast milk donation.
Elisabeth Anderson-Sierra says she never expected to break the record, noting, “it used to be kind of a running joke but then I went through with it and here it is.”
Anderson-Sierra has a rare medical condition, hyper-lactation syndrome, which she explains, causes her body to produce a surplus of milk — producing breast milk for nine years and averaging 200 ounces a day.
“It started in 2014 and I wasn’t sure what was going on at first and my medical team did a lot of testing to identify and diagnose and then it was a large learning process from there just learning how to handle and manage this condition,” Anderson-Sierra said.
She added, “my body does whatever it takes to make this amount of breast milk and it’s very taxing. And any pumping or nursing problems that any mom can experience, my body also experiences those but it’s elevated, it’s heightened, it could be a medical emergency much quicker.”
At first, Anderson-Sierra said, the condition was challenging to manage.
“It took up a lot of my time and I was using a big, bulky pump that had to plug into the wall,” Anderson-Sierra said.
After she discovered the Baby Buddha Pump, a smaller pump that allows her to pump on-the-go, she was empowered to live her life.
“I can go to the park, I can go to the zoo, I can go to OMSI, I can do anything,” Anderson-Sierra said. “I was actually comparing the beginning of my journey earlier to now and I look back and I’m so sad for her, but I’m excited for me now and being able to take back my life, take back my freedom and there’s no limitations.”
Anderson-Sierra explained that Guinness World Records previously reached out to her after they heard of her donations however, she said she wasn’t ready to attempt the record and didn’t want to be in the spotlight.
But during the formula shortage, Anderson-Sierra said she wanted to make a difference and decided to take on the record to normalize milk sharing.
She ended up breaking the record with nearly 1,600 liters of donated milk.
“I’m hoping that by sharing my story, by breaking this record, it kind of encourages others to look into donor milk and if you have a surplus, to share if you can,” Anderson-Sierra said.