Date: May 19, 2015

May 19th is the day to celebrate this most precious donation ….. from a Mom’s own breast

TODAY is World Human Milk Donation Day

Fort Worth, TX — In collaboration with its 28 member and developing member Mothers’ Milk Banks in North America, the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is honoring all mothers who donate to non-profit mothers’ milk banks.

“When I was donating my excess milk while breastfeeding my own child, it was the greatest thing to wonder who was going to receive my donation. It could have been anyone from my son’s future partner to a researcher who finds the cure for cancer”, stated Kelli S. Russell, MPH, RHEd, Teaching Instructor of the Department of Health Education & Promotion at East Carolina University.

Today is the date that has been internationally selected as an opportunity to celebrate this life – saving gift. The amount of Pasteurized Donor Human Milk (PDHR) dispensed from HMBANA Member Mothers’ Milk Banks (MMBs) has increased to 3.77M ounces in calendar 2014 from 2.183M ounces in calendar 2011. The average increase is just under 400K ounces per year and 1 ounce often can feed 3 premature infants.

Naturally, the number of donors would have had to increase each year to make this possible.

“It is our hope that mothers are assisted and supported by health professionals, particularly the LactationConsultantsandEducators,insucceedingintheirbreastfeedinggoals. Amother’sownbreastmilk is superior for her infant. In the event her milk is not available, then donor milk from a non-profit milk bank is the next best choice”, states Pauline Sakamoto, MS, RN, PHN, HMBANA President.

“It is important for women to know that not just moms working at home can donate. I am a full-time instructor and because my university is so supportive of moms like me, I continued to donate even after I returned to the classroom”, Kelli added.

May 19th was originally designated in Brazil as World Human Milk Donation Day because on this date, the first agreement to create a network of milk banks in Latin America was signed by 13 countries and international organizations in South and Central America.

“HMBANA understands how important it is for moms and their families that the maximum care be taken regarding the well-being of their babies”, Pauline emphasized.

“As an organization responsible for the world-wide standards for the safety of donor breastmilk, we understand the science of human breastmilk pasteurization and analysis. We want to be a resource for mom through our network of 28 member and developing member mothers’ milk banks throughout North America. We welcome any and all opportunities to educate and are able to guide moms to make the most informed choices”, Pauline closed by saying.

Related to the issues of quality and safety standards, HMBANA’s Guidelines1 are recognized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as safe for donor human milk2. These Guidelines are updated annually based upon advice from the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB), Canadian Blood Services, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Health Canada, the FDA, as well as in published clinical studies.

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) promotes the health of babies and mothers through the provision of safe pasteurized donor milk and support of breastfeeding. HMBANA is internationally recognized as the expert in safe processing of donor human milk and in milk expression and storage. Established in 1985, it is the professional and trade organization of 18 non-profit member human milk banks with 3 in Canada and 15 in the US. In addition, there are 10 more non-profit human milk banks under development within the HMBANA system.

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