Advertisement

B.C. breast milk donor ‘pumped’ about expanded access to program

It is called 'liquid gold' for newborns, but not all mothers can produce breast milk. For those who can't there will soon be more resources to help. Tanya Beja explains.

It’s been called “liquid gold,” but not all new mothers can produce breast milk.

A B.C. woman has donated more than 95 litres of milk in the last seven months to mothers in need.

Alexandra Allen dropped three weeks worth of milk on Friday alone.

She says she pumps more than her daughter consumes so she wanted to donate the rest.

“Any mom that has breastfed or pumped knows how precious breast milk feels and you don’t ever want to throw that away.”

READ MORE: Breast milk bank at BC Women’s Hospital is ‘extremely low’

Until now, she says donating was time consuming, having to drive to Richmond’s Milk Bank at BC Women’s hospital to make a donation.

Story continues below advertisement

But Vancouver Coastal Health is now opening five drop-off locations in Squamish, Vancouver, West Vancouver and Richmond.

“We’re just hoping that making it easier for moms will get more moms involved in becoming donors,” said Maureen Lister who’s a Public Health nurse.

Last year, 300 moms donated enough milk to nourish 3,000 of B.C.’s most vulnerable babies.

The Milk Bank now hopes to triple its donations, and supply enough milk for 13 neo-natal intensive care units across the province.

READ MORE: Breast milk sold online watered down with cow’s milk, study warns

“Many moms will, you know, really want to provide milk to their NICU baby, but they’ll either have very little to start withor their milk supply will falter a little bit due to the strain,” said B.C. Women’s Provincial Milk Bank Coordinator Frances Jones.

Milk Donations from Surrey and the Fraser Valley increased 20 times since drop-off locations were added there.

The gift a reward in itself for mothers like Allen.

“It’s easy to feel like you’re not succeeding, and so this really gives me something tangible that I can say, ‘what did I do all day? Well you know I pumped breast milk for babies,'” said Allen.

Story continues below advertisement

With files from Tanya Beja