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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Canada Needs Milk Banks!!!

Our government likes to spout off that they are oh so supportive of breastfeeding and in some ways they are.  In Canada women can get a total of 12 months of maternity leave, our Rights to breastfeed in public is protected by law, and mothers are legally allowed to pump/nurse at work.  It all sounds so wonderful, yet the reality is that none of this type of so called "Breastfeeding Support" costs our  government a thing.  We pay into our EI (employment insurance) premiums- many of us for years and years. Upholding a womans  Right to breastfeed in public  also costs our government nothing.  So if our Government is soooooo supportive of breastfeeding, then where's the cash?

I've been ranting and talking about the lack of breastfeeding support in this country for several years.  Words are very pretty, and let's face it politicians seems to know all the pretty words, but words don't put breastmilk into little tummies!

Never mind the fact that there is no standardized training for medical personnel in Breastfeeding and lactation.
Never mind the fact that there is no government support to encourage hospitals to attain "Baby Friendly" status
Never mind the fact that the government quietly keeps cutting back and closing breastfeeding support systems/groups cross the country
Never mind the fact that the politicians are lying SOB's that would sell their own mother if they thought it would net them a profit  (opps!  did I say that out loud?)

Lets talk about milk banks.  Did you know that Canada has one lone milk bank (located in Vancouver BC)?  Did you know that they have closed it or attempted to close it down several times over the years due to funding cut backs and that the only reason it's still running is because every time they attempt to close it again, the public goes wild and organizes mass protests and gets the media involved?  Then as soon as it's all quiet.... they try to close it down again!!!  Did you know that the milk processed at the BC Womens Hospital Milk Bank is only used for patients of the hospital, and that any milk shipped elsewhere is sold to the recipient?

BC Women's Milk Bank
The BC Women’s Milk Bank has operated for over thirty years. It provides pasteurized donor milk to high risk and ill children when their mothers are not able to provide enough breast milk. The pasteurized donor milk is provided with a doctor’s or midwife’s prescription. A processing fee is charged for recipients outside of BC Children’s & BC Women’s Hospitals.
WOW!!!  isn't that supportive of our government? It's said that actions speak louder than words, so I'd say that all their pretty words don't mean jack shit when compared to their actions.

What would the reaction be if blood banks suddenly started selling the donated blood to people in desperate need?  I think that the media would have a heyday and that the government would be forced to step in and make sure that the DONATED blood was made available to ALL those in need of it.

To those in NEED.  Like those tiny preemie babies, those babies born with serious medical issues, and those babies born to mothers who cannot produce their own breastmilk- they NEED breastmilk. Women all around this country are asking where they can donate their milk, asking if there is anyone that needs the sometimes hundreds of ounces of breastmilk that they have pumped and saved. We are willing, we are able...... yet the government refuses to acknowledge the need or the necessity.  Sometimes the mothers of these babies are lucky and they have a support network in place that allows them to reach out to the breastfeeding community and accept private donations, but the reality for most mothers with infants in need is that they just have to make do with whatever is available through their hospital.  Babies that could of been saved if they'd been fed breastmilk die. Because our Government does not support breastfeeding... or at least they don't if it's going to cost them anything. 

Apparently the lives of this countries youngest citizens don't matter.