Breast Milk Banks in High Demand
In recent years breastfeeding has become the number one choice of mothers to feed their newborns with up to 75 percent of new mothers choosing to at least try breastfeeding. National campaigns have been promoting the benefits of breastfeeding for many years. Even many baby formula companies say that “breast is best” on their packaging.
Mother's Milk Bank Austin
With all of this information available on the health benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby, the demand for donated breast milk is on the rise. Some mothers who are unable to produce enough breast milk are turning to other mothers for assistance in the form of “Milk Banks”. In fact, the demand for human breast milk is now so high that many Milk Banks are unable to keep up with the demand.
How does it work? Donor mothers with an abundant milk supply, donate their extra breast milk to the Milk Bank. It is then carefully transferred to glass flasks where it is combined with the milk of up to 5 other donors then thoroughly mixed. The milk is then transferred to 4 oz glass baby bottles prior to pasteurization. The breast milk is then pasteurized by gently heating the glass bottles in a hot water bath. Pasteurization eliminates bacteria while still maintaining many of the breast milks healthy components. Samples are taken from each batch to check for bacterial growth and contamination. The milk is then frozen and shipped overnight to hospitals and individual mother's homes where it is then thawed and heated gently before feeding to baby.
Milk Banks are a wonderful option for mothers who would like to breast feed but are not producing enough of their own breast milk. Before resorting to Milk Banks which can be costly and milk may not be in ready supply, certain medications can help increase milk supply in breast feeding mothers. This may eliminate the need for donor milk and allow the small reserves of breast milk to go to a mother who is unable to breast feed.
As an alternative to Milk Banks many mothers are forming their own informal breast feeding groups with friends, neighbors and family members donating their extra, frozen breast milk to mothers in need. Although the milk is not pasteurized, many mothers find the benefits of this arrangement outweigh the risks. Mothers with an over production of breast milk are often quite happy to see this precious fluid being given to a baby in need.
Although a large percentage of mothers do resort to formula after unsuccessful attempts at breast feeding, many are finding alternatives. Milk Banks, informal breast milk sharing programs and prescription medications to increase milk supply, are all great options for those who would like their babies to receive breast milk.
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