Let's talk facts! Mississippi has the highest premature birth rate in the United States at approximately 17%! An African-American woman's risk of preterm birth is doubled that of her Caucasian counterpart. It is imperative that we find a solution to this large socioeconomic problem! In the meantime, what do we do about all the preterm infants that are born?
One solution is human donor milk. I typically tell my patients breast milk is "liquid gold." Those women who breastfeed and have excess milk to donate fall into a brand new category...they can give the gift of life by donating 'miracle milk.' Miracle milk is excess breast milk that would otherwise be disposed. Once a woman has stopped breastfeeding or she produces an excessive amount, donation is a great option. We all know that woman who nurses and has a freezer full of milk. Not only is her freezer full, but she has to store some at her mother's house! This is the ideal donor!
Human donor milk helps save the lives of premature and sick infants.
- It provides protection against infections and diseases.
- It provides growth factors that protect immature tissue, promote growth and maturity of the digestive tract, and promote healing of tissues affected by infection.
- It decreases the risk of babies developing necrotizing enterocolitis, also known as NEC, a bacterial infection of the gut.
- It is easily digested.
- It is optimal nutrition.
A bottle (100 ml, about 3 ounces) of donor milk costs about $12.00 to process. Babies weighing under 1,500 grams (3 pounds) require as little as 1-2 ml per feeding. Human milk for a typical baby's entire hospital stay costs about $1,145. That's far less than one day of intensive care that might otherwise be required.
Your donated milk, even in small amounts, makes a tremendous difference to premature infants and the cost to bring them a healthy start in life.
For more information, contact Linda Pittman of Mother's Milk Bank vis email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mom 2 Be 662.570.4991.
- Pamela Lacy