You may have already donated money or time, but there's something else the children of earthquake-ravaged Haiti can use--your donated breast milk. Organizations like the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and the International Breast Milk Project (IBMP) are working to get donated milk to sick and premature infants who have lost their mothers, or whose mothers can't breastfeed.
While infrastructure problems are an obstacle to getting breast milk into Haiti, the HMBANA is looking to build up its reserve of donated milk for when aid organizations like the Red Cross need it, and can properly distribute it. Some of these donations, too, will be used for preemies in the U.S. and Canada.
Women who've shared and donated breast milk have made headlines for other reasons recently—actress Salma Hayek was photographed breastfeeding a baby in an African orphanage in 2009—but it's never been easier for moms like you to donate.
The best way to donate breast milk is to contact one of the milk banks in your area. The HMBANA has posted this list. Your local bank can give you instructions for pumping and storing your milk for donation, as well as guidelines about screening. (If you smoke, for example, you won't be able to donate.) To donate to the HMBANA, you'll need to do a quick phone interview and take a blood test, as well as donate a minimum amount of milk.
Learn more about sharing breast milk and how it works.
For more information about donating, contact:
The Human Milk Banking Association of North America
1500 Sunday Drive
Raleigh, NC 27607
Our community members are talking about donating their breast milk to Haiti. Join the conversation now!
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