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Donated Breast Milk Supplies Nearly Depleted

Breast Milk Storage Containers BottlesThe demand for donated breast milk has reached record levels, and, because of this, supplies have been nearly depleted according to eleven milk banks located throughout the United States.

Speaking about the shortage, Mother’s Milk Bank head Pauline Sakamoto says children are losing out on the positive effects of breast milk:

“In the 12 years I’ve been executive director, I’ve never been short. We’ve had to cut back on some of the hospital orders just so we can service more. We had to cut back on some outpatient kids because we didn’t have that supply. I’ve never had to do that, and I hate to do that.”

Mother’s Milk Bank is located in a trailer behind the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where they provided hospitals and families with 420,000 ounces of breast milk in 2010, and, since that time, those numbers have rising by 15 to 18 percent, creating supply issues for the first time in the company’s 37-year history.

Speaking further about the agency’s woes, Sakamoto notes:

“The problem that we’re facing is that we have a lot of kids that need milk. The preterm infant rate is not going down, and doctors are prescribing it more prolifically. And the milk’s just not coming in.”

At this time, all the agency can do is ask for more donations from willing mothers.

References

Donated breast milk for needy babies runs low: http://articles.sfgate.com/2011-10-31/bay-area/30338100_1_breast-milk-pauline-sakamoto-human-milk

Image Credits

Breast Milk Storage Containers Bottles: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Breast_milk_storage_containers_bottles.JPG

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