Why Donate Breast Milk?
Donating breastmilk can help save a preterm baby’s life by dramatically reducing the rate of a life threatening medical complication. Studies have shown that rates of necrotizing enterocolitis (a severe bowel condition that preterm babies are prone to), were reduced by 5.4% when they were given donor milk.
While mother’s own milk is the gold standard, many mothers of extremely vulnerable hospitalized babies are unable to provide the necessary volume of milk for their babies. When mother’s own milk is not available or is limited, pasteurized donor milk is recommended as an alternative to formula by The Canadian Paediatric Society for sick hospitalized infants.
- Donor Milk saves hospitalized babies lives. It reduces rates of medical complications and gives fragile babies a fighting chance.
- There are approximately 1500 low birth weight babies in Ontario a year.
- 70% of preterm babies in hospitals across Ontario don’t have access to a full supply of their mother’s own milk, leaving them with reduced vital nutrients and protective properties.
- More than 1,000 fragile hospitalized babies across Ontario could reduce their risk of medical complications by receiving donated milk every year.
- Donor milk is more easily digested than commercial formulas.
- Donor Milk contains bioactives (enzymes and hormones) important for preterm babies that formula milk does not have
Milk Banking is a common practice worldwide that has received endorsements from the Canadian Paediatric Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.