Why you should consider donating your breast milk

Posted on August 7th, 2013

Philips AVENT showed their support for breastfeeding through a generous donation of breast milk products to the South African Breastmilk Reserve’s (SABR) Feed for Life Initiative. We take a closer look at why our hospitals need breast milk donations and how you can help.

Breastfeeding is credited as the single biggest contributor to decreasing infant mortality and malnutrition – especially in underdeveloped countries in Africa. Philips AVENT are doing their part to promote breastfeeding and highlighting the health benefits of breast milk, by donating Philips AVENT products to the SABR Feed for Life Initiative.

What is the Feed for Life Initiative?

The Feed for Life Initiative focuses on promoting infant survival in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) by using donated breast milk and promoting breastfeeding.

Why use donated breast milk?
Donated breast milk (DBM) is prescribed as an emergency procedure to maintain healthy premature babies and healthy NICU environments. The SABR’s objective is to supply donated breast milk to babies who don’t have access to their own mother’s milk.

The SABR currently helps about 1 200 premature babies every year, which reduces mortality rates significantly.

To date, the SABR has successfully established 11 milk banks in private Netcare and MediClinic hospitals and 13 milk banks in public hospitals where they collaborate with the Department of Health (DoH). The SABR also facilitates eight in-hospital breast milk collection corners – four in private and four in public hospitals.

Who can donate breast milk?
Moms who are lactating and who were tested for HIV during their antenatal check-ups can donate breast milk. You’ll be given a screening questionnaire to fill in when you register to become a donor.

You can’t donate breast milk if:

  • you recently had a blood transfusion or blood products
  • you’re on prescription medication like anti-depressants
  • you’ve had more than 50ml of hard liquor 24 hours before donation
  • you’re a complete vegetarian unless you are taking a Vitamin B12 supplement
  • you use habit-forming drugs like smoking and chewing tobacco
  • you have tuberculosis (TB), HIV or Hepatitis B.

Where can you donate?
The SABR have 36 milk banks across South Africa. You can express the milk at home and store it in the donor bottles provided by SABR in your freezer until you can drop it off at one of the branches, or until the SABR driver can collect the milk from you.

Visit www.sabr.org.za for more information or email info@sabr.org.za.

 

Living And Loving Staff

About Living And Loving Staff

Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.