Nursing Mothers Send Breast Milk to Ailing Haitian Babies
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Milk from nursing mothers in Ohio and around the country is on its way to nourish sick babies in earthquake-ravished Haiti.
The Mothers' Milk Bank of Ohio answered the call from a Navy doctor treating ailing infants on the USNS Comfort, a floating hospital docked off the Haitian coast.
The doctor requested the milk because it can help save lives, says Georgia Morrow, coordinator of the milk bank operated by Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio.
"We would not go through all of this if we did not believe this will allow the babies the best opportunity for survival," Morrow tells ParentDish.
Breast milk contains antibodies that will help the babies fight infections,a common problem children face after a disaster, she explains. Breast milk also is safer option because, unlike some types of formula, it does not have to be mixed with water, she says. Clean drinking water is in short supply in Haiti.
The banks typically provide breast milk, which can be frozen for up to a year, to babies in neonatal units in U.S. hospitals.
Ohio mom Tria Shadeed, who regularly donated milk to the bank until last month, told The Columbus Dispatch she hopes her milk was included in the shipment.
"I would be very proud to know that my milk would be used to help orphaned infants or infants who are hospitalized," she tells the newspaper.
For information about donating milk, visit hmbana.org.
Related: Signs that Your Baby is Getting Enough Breast Milk