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Donor human milk for cow’s milk protein allergy – Bulgaria

Most babies start on donor milk on their first day of life or soon afterwards but this baby, born at term with no problems, was 8 weeks old when it was first provided from the milk bank in Sofia.  A regular consultation with a paediatrician when the baby was 4 weeks old highlighted insufficient growth and this was put down to breastfeeding problems. Unfortunately, the resultant switch to formula quickly led to a range of problems from a widespread rash to profuse vomiting after every feed which then took a number of consultations over another four weeks before being diagnosed as cow’s milk protein allergy. Advice to contact the milk bank led to the baby being approved for donor milk which was provided for almost 300 days and amounted to over 85 litres. Once started, the problems began to subside, the rash disappeared and the vomiting significantly decreased.

It is impossible not to wonder if breastfeeding support, including, if needed, supplementation with donor milk at the time when the breastfeeding problem was first highlighted would have given the mother time to seek professional help, increase her own milk supply and tackle the root cause of the breastfeeding problem. However, what she clearly states is that giving her baby donor milk motivated her to make every effort to continue to maintain her lactation with the help of a pump and further supplementation is now rarely needed. ‘A fully fledged mother’ is how she now describes herself having seen the benefits to her baby of an exclusive breastmilk diet and removed the need for formula. ‘Breastmilk donation is the highest act of humanity. By donating breastmilk you are not only giving health, you are giving a part of yourself, the best of you. Thank you’ is her message to milk donors everywhere.

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