Expert / 29 April, 2017 / Mary Ashton

Mary Ashton: Should You Donate Your Breast Milk?

Have you ever thought about donating your breast milk? Did you even know you could?

I recently came across a news article where the human milk bank in Irvinstown, Ireland was appealing for new mothers to donate milk.  Due to many mothers returning to work earlier they are running very low on supplies.  I know when I have mention human milk banks to clients of mine they are surprised such thing exists.

For most of you reading this I suspect you may never have been into a neo-natal intensive care unit and see the premature and sick babies fighting so hard to survive.  For these babies human milk is like a medicine, it is much easier for their under-developed digestive systems to cope with than infant formula.

You may be thinking well I only just have enough milk to feed my own baby.  However if you were to start expressing you would find you milk supply is likely to increase.  Tiny premature babies often start drinking 20mls a day that’s less than 1oz.  For those of you who have more than enough milk to feed your own baby would it be wonderful to know you are helping a sick baby.

All donors are screened and the milk is pasteurised which you may think kills all the goodness in the human milk but around 60% of the immunoglobulin remain in the milk.

If you want to find out more information about possibly becoming a milk donor please visit the United Kingdom Association of Milk Banking.


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