Thursday, November 17, 2011

Stored breast milk in critically short supply at B.C. women's bank

Canada's HMBANA milk bank in Vancouver has joined its US counterparts in a call for breast milk donations, citing a critical shortage due to increased demand.

Stored breast milk in critically short supply at B.C. woPublish Postmen's bank:
Vancouver Sun, Nov 16, 2011
...The supply of frozen breast milk at B.C. Women's Milk Bank is running low, with only 60 bottles available to help feed premature and sick babies, instead of the 400 or more bottles the facility would normally have stock-piled at this time of year.

"In November, to be this low is unusual. It's lower than in previous years," said Frances Jones, program coordinator for Lactation Services and the Milk Bank at B.C. Women's Health Centre.

"We tend to have a crisis around Christmas and summer, when every-one is busy or away. [Right now it] is mainly because the demand is going up, with a greater awareness of the benefit of breast milk and the donor program."

The number of donors has been increasing over the years, she added, "but it's still not enough." Last year 165 donors were screened for donations, compared to 135 the previous year. She said donors are asked to provide a minimum of 100 ounces of breast milk.

Look who has jumped on the breastmilk shortage bandwagon...

One of for-profit Prolacta's collection sites for breastmilk for their NICU fortifier product has positioned itself to take advantage of the not-for-profit donor milk bank association HMBANA's call for donations.

The messaging isn't quite the same - they don't say demand is up, they say donors are down. They point to milksharing as a possible reason. Note, however, Prolacta doesn't believe human milk is a scarce resource. They believe the problem is a lack of awareness and note women dump unused milk "down the drain" This messaging echoes a quote often used by Human Milk 4 Human Babies founder Emma Kwasnica, who says milk is not a scare commodity and points to women having to dump freezers full down the drain.
Supplies Down, Demand Up For Donated Breast Milk - Supplies Down, Demand Up For Donated Breast Milk
Share |

...Donated breast milk for premature babies is running low in Sacramento.

By Steve Milne

Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Ruth Cummings is with The Birth Center Milk Bank in Sacramento.

"For the last three or four months our donation rate has been down."

The non-profit collects donated breast milk for Prolacta, a product sold for-profit and prescribed to high-risk babies to help fight against infection....