Monday, May 31, 2004

Milk banks -- human milk for those in need

Birth Issues Summer 2004
by Jodine Chase
"Pop your head into the freezer of any breastfeeding mother and you'll spot a few bags or bottles of expressed breastmilk. Even stay-at-home, 24-7 moms have faced the possibility of separation from an exclusively breastmilk fed infant, and most express milk and set it aside in case the need arises. Some wind up with freezers full, literally. And what do you do with a freezer full of breast milk after baby has weaned? Twenty years ago in Edmonton, that milk could be donated to the University Hospital's breast milk bank. Today? From time to time donation requests are carried via Edmonton's lactating underground and women empty their freezers to meet the need. In recent years women have offered donor milk for a baby whose mom was unexpectedly hospitalized, for a cancer patient unable to tolerate any other food, and for a foster baby failing to thrive...."