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Less is sometimes more! – Denmark

Some babies need donor milk for many days, weeks or even months. For others, it only takes a few days before their mothers are able to express enough of their own milk to meet their nutritional requirements. But whether donor milk is needed for a few feeds or a few hundred feeds, without it their babies will be fed with alternatives that can only be avoided where the generosity of donor mothers and the work of milk banks make it possible.

When new mothers receive the best help, care and support after their baby is born, the time it takes for them to fully feed their babies will be minimised and there will be more donor milk available for other babies who need it. 

In Denmark, this little boy’s mum expressed her gratitude with the words ‘We were deeply thankful for the donor milk’. She wasn’t able to collect any of her colostrum for over 30 hours due to her serious medical condition when he was born at 28 weeks and 3 days gestation, weighing only 840g. She doesn’t even remember the first 24 hours of his life and of her new role as a mother and it was another four hours afterwards that she was able to see him for the first time and then another 2 hours before she successfully collected some of her own milk to be given to him. She knew that without the milk bank, her son would have received formula and that would have been so much less easy for his tiny, immature gut to digest. Once started, this mum was able to quickly go on to provide him with all of her own milk and he only needed the donor milk for 2 days. In total he received 24 mls – but those few drops made a big difference to her and to her little boy. So, even when it is for a few tiny feeds over a couple of days, the impact of being able to receive donated breastmilk can be huge.

One day old and needing lots of medical care and attention

 

What a difference a year makes!! Still getting all the attention but look at him now!

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