By Fredrica Syren:
When we moved from the U.S. to Sweden last year, my huge stash of frozen breast milk posed a question for me: what to do with it. When I mentioned to my pediatrician that I had over 200 mil. of breast milk that would have to be thrown away, he became super excited and asked me if I would consider donating it. This had never crossed my mind. Why not?! I love the idea that my leftover milk could help feed another mom’s baby. My pediatrician even called it “liquid gold” and told me how valuable it is to a premature baby.
Breast milk is the best option for any baby born without complications, but for a baby born prematurely, it can be life saving. One of the biggest problems facing these infants is receiving enough calories and protein for their development and survival. When fed breast milk instead of hard-to-digest formulas, premature babies have a higher survival rate. Human breast milk contains immunological and anti-inflammatory properties, especially important for babies in Neonatal Intensive Care Units.
Breast milk banks fulfill a very important role for a baby whose mother’s milk might be lacking or whose mother is physically unable to provide milk at all. These banks serve to help babies and parents by collecting breast milk. For the donor, it’s a simple and safe process. Who would not feel good about helping new babies thrive?