Baby Formula in Mother's Milk: How Breast Milk is Saving Babies

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    Feb 07, 2014
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Breast feeding my three children only lasted a few days. I must admit more preparation should have been done in order for me to tolerate the initial pain that happens. On the brighter side of it, I'm glad I could supply them with antibodies and nutrients that helped them begin a healthy life. Afterwards, the traditional baby formula such as Similac and Enfamil were given.

Baby Formula is an excellent way to give our babies nutrients and vitamins. But then there are times when the baby is born premature. The premature ones need their supply from the human milk source. And that is from a mother who is lactating. I found this interesting because the baby can drink milk from a mother who's not theirs.

Where do premature babies get this amazing milk?

The Mothers' Milk Bank has donors nationally. The milk bank has various locations in cities around the nation. The milk that is donated is processed by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America that governs non-profit milk banks. One, in particular, is located in Austin, Texas that has been parting with moms from Houston and around the nation for a decade.

What premature issue does a preterm infant face?

One is an inflammatory disease called necrotizing enterocolitis. What this does is cut off the blood supply to the infant's intestines.

How are preterm babies being helped?

Human milk is scare. Sometimes if a baby is born in the second trimester of pregnancy, mothers do not have a supply of breast milk yet and can't feed their baby. The demand is high and outreaches its supply. Much hope is that all lactating mothers would become a donor.

The milk donated is screened for diseases and medical and lifestyle risks; microbiological and nutritional analysis; pasteurization; and another round of microbiological and nutritional tests are performed.

Between the premature babies, it's decided which one can receive the milk. Babies who are so small they fit in your hands are given priority over the ones who are larger and more stable.

What is the preterm birth rate?

It's stated by the Community Impact newspaper in Katy, Texas that one in eight babies are born pre-term in Texas, and one in 12 babies are pre-term in the U.S...

How does Houston process its donations?

A mother whose lactating and haven given birth in the last year is eligible to donate. The donor is prescreened and undergoes a blood test. Houston has six locations for milk to be dropped off. The milk is picked up and delivered to the bank's main Austin location for screening.

Whether you choose to breast feed or give baby formula is a tough decision to make, either way the baby's best interest should be considered. The decision to become a donor for a Mother's Milk Bank is rewarding as well.


Community Impact Newspaper; volume 2, issue 4, December 18, 2013-January 29, 2014


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