Did you know in the 1970’s there were as many as 23 milk banks in Canada? In the 80’s however, fears of HIV transmissions led to the closure of all but the Vancouver bank, located at BC Women’s Hospital.
Breast milk banks - there are currently 10 in the United States as well - provide supplies to mothers who cannot produce enough milk or are not able to produce their own due to illness or being on medication. Banks are also used by parents of adopted and foster children.
Many Canadian communities are pleading for more milk banks to be opened, however few hospitals are willing to supply the required funding and resources and the government isn’t stepping up to the plate to help (surprise, surprise).
Here at Mike & Toni’s™, we are committed to raising awareness around the need for donations (both breast milk and monetary) through our website, blog J and promotional materials. And of course we will talk about it with everyone we meet!
We will also donate at least 1% of our profits to the BC Women’s Milk Bank to assist mothers and babies in need.
How can you help? If you are nursing and have an abundance of milk, please consider donating! If you are in the Greater Vancouver area, they will even come to pick it up. Then they pasteurize, test, freeze and ship it out to those in need. Of course, you can use your Mike & Toni’s™ hands-free pumping support while collecting the milk!
If you can’t help with a milk donation, you can help by donating monetarily. Currently the milk bank cannot pay for the inward shipping of donations outside of their cachement. A donation could help to change this!
For more information, you can visit the Human Milk Banking Association of North America at www.hmbana.org. Our very own Frances Jones, Coordinator of the Vancouver Bank, is the Chairperson of the Board. It is actually a pretty interesting read!
You can also find information about the Vancouver Bank here.
Thank you for your support (pun most definitely intended)!