Monday, February 8, 2010

Revised Donated Breastmilk Request

The Red Cross has apparently asked donations of breastmilk to Haiti to cease, citing transportation, storage, safety and other concerns. See article at MSNBC. Nursing mothers there are encouraged to breastfeed their own babies if possible. Human milk banks do accept donations under strict donation guidelines and they use it when babies need breastmilk but mothers are unable to provide it. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) has revised its statement at the request of the Red Cross stating this practice only helps a small number of infants in Haiti (excerpt follows). They suggest financial contributions instead for those who desire, since that is the most important way to help.

Donations of infant formula are also discouraged due to safety risks associated with artificial feeding and quality control issues with the donations.
Washington, DC - The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) strongly affirm the importance of breastfeeding in emergency situations, and call on relief workers and health care providers serving victims of disasters to protect, promote, and support mothers to breastfeed their babies. During an emergency, breastfeeding mothers provide their infants with safe food and water and disease protection that maximize their chances of survival. (HMBANA)
We also continue to stress that breastfeeding is an important decision in your own personal emergency preparedness. Best Blogger Tips

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