Notifications

Calgary breast milk bank success spurs countrywide orders

Calgary's human milk bank has become so successful it’s now sending product to almost every neo-natal intensive care unit in the province and hospitals across the country.

Mothers' milk donor bank has been operating since 2012

The Calgary Mothers' Milk Bank has proven so successful it is sending milk to hospitals around the country. (CBC)

Calgary's human milk bank has become so successful it’s now sending product to almost every neonatal intensive care unit in the province and hospitals across the country.

The Calgary Mothers’ Milk Bank has seen a 40 per cent increase in demand for its breast milk since it was created in 2012.

The not-for-profit organization takes in donated milk from breastfeeding mothers, screens and pasteurizes it and then distributes it for premature babies and others who need it.

The bank is now hiring more staff and needs to move to a bigger space.

Executive director Jannette Festival says they are busy but happy to know the bank is providing a needed service.

“Sometimes we just have moms and dads that come in and say, ‘We just love what you're doing and thank you.’ So it's a very good feeling,” she said.

Hospitals like being able to provide the milk, she said.

“They've seen an increase in the health of babies and they've seen great response, so I believe that has contributed to an increase in the use of donor human milk.”

The biggest challenge is getting enough donors to keep up with demand, Festival said.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.