Human Interest

Moms donate breast milk for premature babies

A preemie served by the International Breast Milk Project

A preemie served by the International Breast Milk Project

When a baby is born premature, every little bit helps – literally. Every little bit of oxygen, transfused blood, necessary liquids and medications transferred through PICC lines, and of course, milk.

Sometimes, it can be difficult for the mother of a premature baby to produce enough breast milk for her fragile infant. She, too, needs to be surrounded with love, care, and attention. At what is likely the most stressful and difficult time of her life, this mother needs to know that other mothers are fighting for her baby’s life with her.

There is a very specific way that mothers can fight for life alongside the mother of a preemie – even if you don’t know her. You can donate breast milk.

If you are a mother who has plenty to feed your own baby, consider donating extra milk to help save the lives of premature babies and take one more weight off their mothers’ minds. If you are currently breastfeeding, consider if it may be possible for you to increase your own supply (talk to a medical professional first) so that you have enough extra to donate.

In Baby Center’s article series “Breast milk: a life-giving journey,” the importance of breast milk for preemies is emphasized:

The “medicine” prescribed for these babies by their doctors is among the most proven remedies for low body weight and a fragile immune system: breast milk.

“For any baby born earlier than 32 weeks, breast milk is a medical priority,” says Debra Busta Moore, lactation consultant at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center in Berkeley, California…

Angela Olsen, a mother and a lactation specialist, pumps and freezes milk in the comfort of her own home, then donates it for premature babies.

Monica, a mother of two young sons, has been donating her extra breast milk for over a year.

A premature babies served by the International Milk Bank

A premature baby served by the International Milk Bank

“Pumping does take dedication,” she says, but as an ob-gyn herself, she knows the babies who receive her milk are in serious need. “I’m going to continue pumping for another six to 12 months. It’s a gift to the babies my milk helps. But it’s also a gift to me,” says Monica.

Ashley, Elizabeth, Jessica, and Sabrinna all had babies who were born premature. They saw through their own personal experiences how important breast milk is to preemies. All of them because breast milk donors so that other mothers’ babies could have a better chance at life.

A mother who donates milk to the International Breast Milk Project

A mother who donates milk to the International Breast Milk Project

We who are pro-life are pro all life, including the lives of premature babies. We fight hard to help babies be born, and we should also fight hard to keep them alive once they’re here with us in this world. Donating breast milk is simple, and it really doesn’t take much time. Can you help save the life of a premature baby? Will you do it today?

Check out the International Breast Milk Project and the Mothers’ Milk Bank for details on how you can donate.

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