Friday, November 04, 2011

'Unsafe medically and dangerous legally" - HMBANA on #milksharing

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is again calling on every healthy, breastfeeding moms to offer to donate. Requests from hospitals are up and now make up 75 per cent of their orders, up from 60 per cent just last year. Milk banks distributed 1.8 million ounces last year, less than a quarter of the 8 million needed according to HMBANA.

HMBANA president Kim Updegrove says,
"All babies should receive human milk. But because it's a scarce resource, we prioritize it for preterm infants in neonatal intensive care who weigh three pounds or less," said Updegrove. "These babies respond the best in terms of decreased infection rates and shorter hospital stays."
This ABC news item says while the cost to donate is covered by milk banks, costs are passed on to recipients. ABC says this leaves families turning to informal sharing, a practice HMBANA's head calls "unsafe medically and dangerous legally."