In a grand announcement a few months ago, the Toronto Star published an article "Pediatricians call for breast milk banks across Canada". Applause, yes applause. It's a wonderful thing that the media has jumped on the band wagon and is making public announcements like this, I mean, any publicity is good publicity KWIM? Horray for Breastmilk!
But I have to admit that it irks me. Mothers and Doctors, like Dr. Jack Newman, have been crying out for Milk Banks for Years- YEARS!!!! Not only that, but Canada does have a Milk Bank in Vancouver BC... a milk bank that they have been trying to close down for years!! I wrote an article on the topic just a couple of months ago: Canada Needs Milk Banks!!!
Yes, there is absolutely no doubt that Canada needs Milk Banks, and lots of them. But if they are run like the BC Womens Hospital Milk Bank, keeping the liquid gold just for themselves, then how will that help babies in need in outlying communities? And what about those "babies in need"? The article in the Toronto Star yesterday states:
The milk, which would be pasteurized with the same heating method dairies use, would go mainly to two groups of infants, Unger says.“There would be the really, really pre-term babies, the extremely low birth weight babies,” she says. “The other group of babies are the group who need surgery on their bowels.”
While no one would argue that these fragile infants desperately need breastmilk, ALL babies deserve breastmilk. What about babies who's mothers are not physiologically capable of producing enough milk to exclusively breastfeeding their babies? What about other fragile babies? What about older infants that are absolutely reliant on breastmilk to survive? Infants like Anaya who are extremely ill and intolerant of ANYTHING except breastmilk?
ALL BABIES DESERVE BREASTMILK!
Breastfeeding is NOT best, Breastfeeding is Normal. But what if you are one of the (Hypothesized) 3% of women who are physically unable to produce enough milk to exclusively nurse their babies? What if you have done everything possible to build and boost your milk supply.... and you still can't produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed your baby? What then?
For many mothers they had only one option... until now. NOW there is a global movement going on, a movement to get breastmilk to every baby in need through milk donations. It's called Milk Sharing.
Right here in Ontario there are currently no milk banks. So for a baby to receive breastmilk, the only way is from their mother, or through donations from other breastfeeding mothers. Hence the launch of "Human Milk 4 Human Babies". We are here to help families that need milk, find families that are willing to donate milk.
Originally we started a global breastmilk sharing network called "Eats on Feets Global" back in Oct 2010. Breastfeeding and childbirth activist Emma Kwasnica decided to launch a global network to help mothers who needed breastmilk find mothers who had breastmilk to spare. In the summer of 2010 a Phoenix based midwife Shell Walker started a local community page on Facebook dedicated to milk sharing. Emma, an advocate for informed choice, who was already connecting people around the globe who wanted to share milk via her personal profile page, approached Shell and asked to use her name "Eats on Feets" for the Global milk sharing network. Permission was granted by Shell and Emma launched Eats On Feets GLOBAL. This network grew quickly to over 100 communities spanning the globe.
Last week Eats On Feets GLOBAL changed its name to Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network. Within hours, donors and recipients were making matches on HM4HB. There are now 275 volunteers administering over 100 community pages in 42 countries. Donors and recipients are using the network to make matches literally every hour of every day. For more information about the changes to the Global networks name please click HERE
Milk Sharing is not a new fad. Milk sharing is as old as the human race and is still practised in societies where breastfeeding is the social norm. Mothers have been nursing other babies since the beginning of time and babies have thrived. All across the world mothers are forming impromptu "villages", caring and nurturing their children together, caring for and helping each other, and nursing each others babies in an effort to provide healthy human food in a nurturing manner when it's needed.
Every baby deserves human milk, we can't state that enough. Sometimes we need to all pull together to make sure that no baby is left behind. Cows milk for baby cows, Human milk for baby humans. It's really that simple.
If you are a mom with a baby in need of breastmilk come to Human Milk For Human Babies and you'll find moms with milk to give. If you're a mom that has breastmilk to give, come to HM4HB and you will find a mother in need of your generous donation. It's all about getting Human Milk to Human Babies!!!