Kitchener-Waterloo

Grand River Hospital opens donor milk bank for babies in intensive care

Grand River Hospital is opening a donor milk bank for babies in intensive care who are in need of breast milk — the first in Waterloo region.

Babies who meet the criteria will be given milk based on health need, size and how premature they are

Premature babies at Grand River Hospital who aren't getting enough breast milk will benefit from a new donor milk bank. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News/Associated Press)

Grand River Hospital (GRH) is opening the region's first donor breast milk bank for premature babies in need.

Previously, breast milk was not an option for many premature babies in the region, the hospital said in a release. More than 700 ill or premature babies are admitted to GRH every year and some mothers are unable to provide enough breast milk for their baby while in hospital.

"Our babies and families at Grand River Hospital deserve every chance at the best start possible," Patricia Blancher, interim director of GRH's childbirth and children's programs said.

"We know that breast milk provides extensive health benefits, particularly for our most vulnerable babies. We are very proud to bring this service to our region for our families."

There is no cost for babies who receive donor milk but a prescription is required for the program and there is no cost for eligible mothers to donate and ship their milk to Milk Bank Ontario. 

A baby who meets eligibility criteria will be given donor milk based on their health need, size and how premature they are.

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