A Tiny Baby Needs Your Help!

In the UK, thousands of babies are born extremely prematurely each year. One of the most devastating complications of prematurity is necrotising enterocolitis (NEC), which can affect up to 1 in 10 premature babies. Babies with NEC become desperately ill very quickly, as some or all of their bowel becomes inflamed and dies. Around 4 in 10 babies who develop NEC will sadly die. Being fed with their mother’s breastmilk, or when that is not immediately available, donated human milk, protects babies from developing NEC.

Breastmilk on the neonatal intensive care unit acts like a medicine. But what happens when mother’s milk is not immediately available? Mothers of babies born early can face many hurdles before they establish their own milk supply - they may be ill themselves or separated from their baby in another part of the hospital, or in another hospital altogether. They may also have been given medication to try to delay labour, which slows down their milk coming in. These mothers know the importance of supplying their own milk, but this pressure can also affect their milk supply. This is where screened donated human milk comes in. The Human Milk Foundation aims to make sure that there are enough supplies of donor milk to feed every baby born prematurely. Donor milk takes the immediate pressure off mums and helps them to focus on recovering from birth and establishing their milk supply over a few days.

Most babies only need donor milk for less than a week, but being able to receive only human milk protects their bowel from NEC. Working through the Hearts Milk Bank, the Human Milk Foundation provides safe, screened donor breast milk to hospitals, protecting these tiny babies’ lives during this very critical early period. The Hearts Milk Bank has been working for 18 months and has had an amazing response from milk donors across the region from mums who don’t want to throw away their spare milk. So much milk has been donated, that the Human Milk Foundation has started to provide donor milk to feed babies whose mothers could not breastfeed, including those having treatment for cancer diagnosed during pregnancy or where they have no breast tissue.

We are looking to raise additional funds as there are so many more families we would like to help. With your support, we could employ two more specialist team members, who can work to screen and support each milk donor and make sure the milk is safe to give to many more vulnerable babies.

We’ve just launched a fundraising campaign called Tiny Birthdays, which gives you the chance to donate your birthday towards the cause. Your present will help to change a baby’s future.

Watch the campaign video here: Help Support Our Work

Make a donation : Set up a Facebook Birthday Fundraiser: Become a milk donor:

humanmilkfoundation @milk_foundation @humanmilkfoundation

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