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Every donation tells a story – and every story brings a glimmer of hope – Europe

When the European Milk Bank Association reached out to families to help explain what happens to the milk that is donated to the 270 milk banks throughout Europe, the generous response from families across the continent made this book possible. Choosing which stories to include wasn’t easy and some which were very similar couldn’t be included. However, on the final day of a month of sharing the words of the recipient families, here are some more of the comments and thanks that families wanted the milk donors to read:

Spain: ‘It gives you a lot of security in times of extreme worry’. 26 week premature baby with many health problems who received donor milk for 107 days.

Germany: ‘I needed time to come into my own lactation. Not being able to breastfeed was stressful, after a traumatizing premature birth and knowing that my baby received human milk took so much pressure off’.  Premature baby born at 27 weeks.   

UK: ‘Having access to donor milk has really supported my breastfeeding journey. I don’t think I’d have made it this far without it!’ Term born baby with low blood sugars and weight loss.

Germany: ‘My milk supply started late, around 14 days after a Caesarian section. The donor milk meant a lot to me. I had less pressure and stress during the NICU stay.’ Premature infant born at 26 weeks who received 8.5 litres over 81 days.

Bulgaria:  ‘Many thanks to all the dedicated mothers who donate their breastmilk to babies who do not have the opportunity to receive their own mother’s milk’ Baby born at 40 weeks who received 32 litres over 126 days.

The gift of breastmilk to a milk bank enables babies to be fed with human milk at a time when there is none or insufficient available from the baby’s mother. The reasons behind why there was a need for donor milk differ and yet there is a universality around the stories that have been shared by parents to thank the donors for their precious gift – that of reduced stress which then helped a mother to provide her own milk. We hope that the donors know what an important difference their milk makes to the first days and weeks and in some cases months in the lives of so many new parents.

Greece: The donors’ milk made me feel less stressed and more confident. You were there and I did it!!!’    Twins born at 28 weeks.     

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