The Allen family can finally have a nice roast dinner now that new mom Alexandra (pictured with baby Malena) can donate her extra breast milk locally. Alexandra Allen lives in Richmond and has been driving to Vancouver to donate her milk to the BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank: all the while, in between trips, storing the milk in her freezer. With the first milk bank drop-off location now in Richmond, she can donate more frequently, shoring up room in the family freezer for items such as the family favourite roast.
“Traveling into Vancouver is a time investment,” says Alexandra. “But now I can drop off my milk donation just down the road. Convenience is key when volunteering.”
- Squamish Community Health Centre – opens August 2
- Raven Song Community Health Centre – opens August 2
- West Vancouver Community Health Centre – opens August 2
- Richmond Public Health – opens August 2
- Evergreen Community Health Centre – opens fall 2016
The milk donated at these locations will be delivered to the BC Women’s Provincial Milk Bank where it will be screened and pasteurized, then distributed to the babies most in need at neonatal intensive care units.
The demand for donor human milk continuously exceeds supply. With the new, more convenient locations, nurses are hoping more mothers will so that more premature and sick babies can be helped.
“We know human milk is the best food for babies, but some new mothers face challenges that prevent them from breastfeeding,” says Maureen Lister, Public Health Nurse. “Donor milk has active beneficial properties and is similar to mother’s own milk. It provides babies with antibodies to fight disease and infection, which is especially vital for premature or babies battling medical conditions.”
“When I’ve dropped off my milk I’ve seen the parents picking up donated milk,” says Alexadra. “I think, my milk might be going to their baby. Those parents must be feeling so relieved. I can get a little of that joy by association by knowing I am helping.”
The World Health Organization recommends providing only breast milk to babies until approximately six months of age for healthy growth and development. With the addition of nutritious, complementary table foods at around six months babies can continue to be breastfed until two years old and beyond.