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.
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.