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One year old and healthy! Daniele’s story – Italy

Italy has a long history of human milk banking and there are more milk banks there than in any other country in Europe. The national milk bank association, AIBLUD, (Associazione Italiana Banche del Latte Umano Donato; www.aiblud.com) actively supports all the banks and their staff. 

This tiny, beautiful baby boy’s mother, Stefania, spent a month in hospital in Italy before his arrival in April, 2020.  During this time, she and husband Andrea started to keep a photographic record of their experiences and of baby Daniele’s arrival and time in hospital. 

Daniele was born at 31 weeks and 3 days weighing 840g. He spent his first 65 days in the NICU at St Anna Hospital in Turin and finally went home on day 70.  For the first days of his life he was fed with donor milk from the Human Milk Bank of Turin before his mother was able to take over and from then on, he received his mother’s milk up until his discharge home. This is his story, told by his parents:

‘Our biggest sacrifice was to leave Daniele in the NICU every evening when we went home but we knew that he was being safely cared for. During the days we read him stories, we shared kangaroo care and cuddles and we fed our little boy, first with the donor milk which he enjoyed and later with maternal milk.  As the days and then the weeks and then the months went by, he grew and grew until after 70 days we were all ready to go home together.  We said a huge thank you to the NICU staff because even during this difficult Covid-19 time they were amazing. Thanks also to the human milk bank and all of the donors whose milk helped him grow. They will always be in our hearts and we will remember how lucky we are.  Donor human milk makes all the difference – every donation tells a story!

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