BREAST FEEDING women were urged to donate their breast milk to the Namibia Breast Milk Bank (NBMB) to help mothers struggling to feed their own babies.
Some mothers are physically or because of illness unable to produce enough milk leading to babies that are under weight.
Namibia Breast Milk Bank (NBMB) spokesperson Birgit Mayer called on nursing women to come forth, support the initiative, and donate breast milk.
According to Mayer, many premature babies end up in unfortunate situations where they do not have direct access to breast milk, especially if their mother passed away after giving birth, or are simply unable to breastfeed due to health reasons.
“Premature babies weighing 1.5 kg and below are more prone to infections but grows faster when receiving breast milk,” she added.
Mayer said in order to qualify as a beneficiary of the donor breast milk, babies should weigh 1.5 kg or less, and also if their mothers are not self-sufficient in terms of providing breast milk.
The NBMB became officially operational in April 2018. From April 2018 until April 2019 the NBMB has given pasteurized breast milk to approximately 100 babies of which about 60 were state referrals and the rest from the private sector.
The Namibian Breast Milk Bank started to pasteurize Donor Breast Milk and to supply it to all the Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Windhoek. They have also supplied milk to the north of the country.
She said the aim is to avoid giving formula milk to these little ones and only want to give them breast milk because it is easier digested and protects them against infections.
“The donating mothers own babies must always come first and gaining good weight and developing well. If the donating mother then still has enough breast milk she can store it in the freezer in special breast milk storage bags or sterilized glass jars,” said Mayer.
She said the containers should be marked with name and date of the expressed breast milk. If the donating mother has a surplus milk supply such a woman should contacts the NBMB at 061 224564 during office hours or Birgit Mayer weekdays from 13h00 at 081 129 2641.