North Shore moms donate 1400 baby bottles’ worth of breast milk

The new breast milk donation site on the North Shore has collected enough breast milk to fill 1,400 small baby bottles! And that was all done by 32 North Shore generous moms.

In August 2016 VCH Public Health opened several breast milk depot sites, including on the North Shore, where the site is in the West Vancouver Community Health Centre. This site has collected 215,775 gm (215.8 kg) of breast milk since it opened! Providing donor milk is a very special gift and requires great commitment from the donor.

A breast milk depot site is where eligible women can drop off their extra, raw, frozen milk. The milk is stored in a freezer until enough is collected for transport to the BC Provincial Milk Bank at BC Women’s Hospital.  The depot site is affiliated with the  Provincial Milk Bank. The Provincial Milk Bank screens prospective donors, and also receives, processes and distributes human milk.  The Milk Bank pasteurizes and tests the raw milk.

Frozen human donor milk

How can donor breast milk help?

Donor breast milk is an excellent alternative when mothers own milk is not available. This is particularly important for premature and sick babies in hospital. Donor milk significantly reduces the risk of a potentially deadly condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) which causes bowel tissue death – the second most common cause of morbidity for premature infants. Donor milk is used for many other purposes including feeding intolerance, failure to thrive, post-surgical treatment, and to provide breast milk for babies whose mother may not have enough supply when a baby is in hospital.

Where does the milk go?

There is a significant demand for donor milk in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) throughout BC. Having a depot site on the North Shore ensures that the preterm and ill babies at Lions Gate Hospital will receive pasteurized human milk. Last year the NICU at LGH used 71,490 gm of pasteurized human donor milk.

Premature infant in NICU

For more info

There is a need of more donors. The demand for human donor milk far exceeds the supply.  Any woman interested in becoming a breast milk donor can call the BC Women’s Milk Bank at 604-875-2282 or go on their website at www.bcwomensmilkbank.ca.

 

 

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