Western Health Trust requests breast milk donations

An Irish service that aids seriously ill and premature babies has asked for more breast-milk donors.

Western Health Trust requests breast milk donations

An Irish service that aids seriously ill and premature babies has asked for more breast-milk donors.

The South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen is the only place where you can find a human milk bank.

Elizabeth Bailie (human milk bank coordinator) said that hospitals are entering the busy summer months.

Ms Bailie stated, "As we have seen from previous years, this can be an occasion when neonatal units need additional stocks of donor milk."

"Staff are working hard to ensure that this vital service is available to all of our premature babies.

"We are grateful to our donor mothers who continue to provide vital donor breast milk to babies in neonatal units at hospitals across Ireland.

Human milk contains substances that cannot be synthesized. This helps babies fight bacteria and viruses, and protects them against pneumonia and septicaemia.

It can prevent the gut from rupturing, which could lead to necrotising enterolitis (a potentially fatal condition).

Breast milk contains unique fats that help immature brain, eye, and nervous system develop better for improved intelligence and sight.

In 2000, the Western Health Trust opened a human milk bank.

The service supports premature and sick babies as well as mothers of triplets, quads and twins who cannot produce enough milk.

Ms. Bailie stated that 844 babies were born prematurely in 2021 through the human milk bank. 234 of these were twins or triplets.

She stated that it was crucial to recruit donors.

She said, "I appeal to expectant mothers to consider becoming donors and for our donor moms to spread word about the human milk banks as this is the best method to recruit new mums."

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