Cape Town - Tygerberg Hospital is appealing to eligible breastfeeding women to extend a helping hand to struggling mothers of newborn babies at the hospital, and consider donating breast milk.
March 1-7 is Human Milk Banking Week and is dedicated to imploring breastfeeding women to donate their breast milk.
Last year, paediatricians and nurses at the hospital were responsible for the handling of 8 065 newborn babies.
Babies weighing less than 1.5 kg at birth, babies of mothers whose breast milk is limited, and premature twins and triplets of mothers who are unable to meet their infant’s nutritional requirements, all require donor breast milk.
Breast milk is proven to be better suited over formula milk, as it improves the health of babies, aids in the recovery of sick babies, ensures good growth and development, and protects against infections and health issues.
Judy Lombaard from Strand gave birth to twin boys on February 2, 2021.
Lombaard said: “It was a wonderful experience, but they were born too early at 31 weeks. I couldn’t breastfeed because my mammary glands weren’t ready yet. It was very stressful because I thought about my babies and what they were going to consume. Being a first time-mom, I didn’t know that there were mothers who donated their breast milk to babies that were born prematurely. This was the best thing ever for me as a mom. My baby that weighed 1.4kg received donor milk. Every day we became stronger.”
Catherine De Vries from Wellington gave birth on January 30, 2021, at 28 weeks, and struggled to produce breast milk during the first few days following the delivery.
“My son’s weight was 1.5kg and my daughter weighed 1.2kg, and they grew a lot because of the donor breast milk.”
Eligibility to donate includes healthy breastfeeding women who are non-smokers, must undergo screening, and free of select medications and supplements preventing donating breast milk.
Contact 021 938 4709/4723/4878 to make an appointment with the Tygerberg Hospital kangaroo mother care services.