On May 19, World Human Milk Donation Day, XXS – Portuguese Association for Supporting Premature Babies, the Grouping of Health Centers Lisboa Ocidental and Oeiras (ACES) and Banco do Bebé join an initiative of the Center University Hospital of Lisbon Central (CHULC) in order to raise awareness of the importance of donating breast milk and to thank all donors.
Human milk is extremely important for newborns, but particularly for premature babies, contributing to their health in the medium and long term. As mothers of preterm infants occasionally have insufficient milk for their children, donating milk from healthy donors is essential to address these needs.
The objective of World Human Milk Donation Day is to draw attention to the importance of breast milk for the health of premature babies, thereby increasing the number of donors and the volume of milk collected to benefit newborns admitted to Neonatology Units .
That’s because premature babies require extra care. Some weigh less than a packet of rice, with organs so immature that they can almost be lost with a breath. Many will have tubes and sensors in the tiny bodies until they reach the vigor of a bigger baby – the parents are perfectly grounded, but the important thing is to survive. And here, breast milk has an imperative role.
Of all that can be done to help premature babies to recover (tubes, devices, technologies), breast milk is irreplaceable and essential. Donating milk to premature babies is more than donating food, it is contributing to their survival with quality. Being a donor is an act of generosity towards your own child, but also towards premature babies and their parents!
It has been proven that babies who receive human milk develop better, grow faster, have less risk of hospital infection and also stay less in hospital. Milk helps a lot, for example, to reduce diarrhea, allergies and serious intestinal infections. And more than 50% of these infections need surgery and others end up in mortality.
To thank these Portuguese mothers and health professionals who have made the Human Milk Bank possible in Portugal, a video of thanks will be released on May 19 on the social networks of XXS with testimonies from the mothers of premature baby recipients, professionals health, organizations that support this cause, as well as donors themselves.