Calgary

Calgary breast milk bank struggles to meet hospital demand

A Calgary breast milk bank that distributes to various hospitals throughout Western Canada says it's struggling to collect enough donations to keep up with the number of babies who need it.

Increasing demand and lack of supply keeps organization searching

Local breast milk bank needs donors for newborn babies 1:10

A Calgary breast milk bank that distributes to various hospitals throughout Western Canada says it's struggling to collect enough donations to keep up with the amount of babies who need it.  

The Calgary Mothers' Milk Bank first opened its doors in April 2012. It now distributes 28 litres of pasteurised human breast milk each day to various hospitals.

Demand from hospitals continues to rise, according to Jannette Festival, the executive director of the milk bank.

"Unfortunately our donors are not keeping pace with the demand." 

Candace DiGiacomo donates her excess breast milk regularly. She also has a unique perspective in the process—  her husband sometimes works as a respiratory therapist in the neo-natal intensive care unit at the South Health Campus.

"It really hits home, like when he comes home and maybe mentions that he worked on a baby or whatnot, and to think that maybe my milk might reach and help her or him, that's pretty special."

Festival says she is constantly searching for new mother donors, because they can only donate for a limited time.

She hopes new donors, with milk or cash, will come forward. 

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