The Best for Babes® foundation announces the third annual Miracle Milk® Stroll to raise awareness of the lifesaving power of human milk in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). On May 13 – 15, 2016, thousands of parents, friends, families and community members will gather in North American parks, malls, and streets to help save lives of premature babies.
In its most recent policy statement on breastfeeding and human milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states unequivocally that “the potent benefits of human milk are such that all preterm infants should receive human milk…If mother’s own milk is unavailable despite significant lactation support, pasteurized donor milk should be used.”
Despite an exponential increase in non-profit milk banks, 60% of the nation’s NICUs do not use donor milk.
Feeding premature, fragile and compromised babies human milk – whether from the mother or a donor – has been shown to reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) by 79%. NEC is an excruciating bowel inflammation affecting 5,000 North American babies every year and resulting in 500 deaths. NEC may require multiple surgeries, result in organ failure, months-long NICU stays, lifelong complications. It can cost from $200,000 to over $1,000,000 to treat per child.
“The AAP’s policy is being ignored,” says Jennifer Canvasser, who lost her son to NEC and is the founder of NEC Society.org. “It’s a tragedy that more parents, health care providers, medical directors and hospital administrators don’t know about donor milk, HMBANA milk banks, or don’t provide evidence-based infant feeding support.”
“Our goal with this event is to create a nationwide consumer-driven platform to raise awareness, funds and milk donations to help make human and donor milk the standard of care in NICUs everywhere, provide NICU mothers with stellar support, and help reduce suffering and deaths,” says Best for Babes co-founder Danielle Rigg. She adds:
“Human Milk Saves Lives®. Together, we can get more Miracle Milk® to more fragile babies.”
New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition – Expressing At Workplace – ZipMilk.org – NJ Dept. of Health – NJ Lactation Consultants