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What does a milk bank do?

What does a milk bank do?

Beyond my work as a Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist and Birth Doula, I volunteer to help my community through a variety of efforts. One such effort that is dear to my heart is volunteering to work for Calgary’s Mothers’ Milk Bank. Their mission is “to provide pasteurized human donor milk to protect, promote and support the health of babies.” How amazing is it that women across the country, and throughout North America, who have access to similar community based not-for-profit organizations, can donate their milk to sick and struggling babies in need when their mother’s own milk is not available. This is truly a wonderful thing.

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So you might be thinking please tell me more, and how does this work exactly? It’s widely known that human milk is biologically created specifically for human babies. It provides truly unique benefits that cannot be duplicated by lab-created formula. Human milk provides babies with antibodies to fight disease and infection and also protects against allergies. Some mothers are unable to supply their babies with the milk they need because they are under stress or are ill themselves. Providing these fragile infants with pasteurized human donor milk provides them with passive immunity and gives them a stronger hold on life. Similar to the process one encounters when trying to donate blood at a blood bank, milk donors must go through a multi-step screening process. Once deemed eligible, women pump and freeze their milk donations for the milk bank. Once a prescribed amount is collected, the milk is delivered to the milk bank where it is tested and pasteurized then distributed to the most fragile infants in need. No monetary compensation is given. Want to learn more about this terrific organization? Check out their website, or visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Better still give me a call and let me share with you my experiences.

Image used: “Empty,” Taken January 16, 2009 by Nerissa’s Ring, CC by 2.0

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