Urgent appeal for breast milk
IRELAND'S only breast
milk bank has appealed for donors due to a "drastic"
shortage of the life-saving baby food.
The Milk Bank at Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh, issued
the appeal to mothers nationwide including Donegal,
saying breast milk supplies - particularly for
premature babies - are critically low. This is
despite "heavy recruitment" of donors in recent
The bank provides breast milk, which it describes as
"liquid gold" and "liquid medicine" for more than
900 babies each year.
But it says it has been "exceptionally busy for
months, caring for increasingly smaller babies and
helping a greater number of multiple births across
Ireland, North and South, which has resulted in them
using up large quantities of donated breast milk".
This has "drastically reduced" the stocks of milk
left in the bank, it said.
"The Milk Bank is appealing to mothers that may have
a quantity of milk in their freezer, for help,
particularly if this milk is (for) a premature baby
where stocks are at their lowest.
"Mothers with babies under three months of age, who
think that they could provide at least three litres
of milk, are also needed," the organisation said in
a weekend statement.
Donated milk being preserved at the
Fermanagh Breast Milk Bank.
The Fermanagh Milk
Bank, which opened almost 17 years ago, is run by
the Western Health and Social Care Trust and
receives donations from across Ireland every year.
It issued some 1,500 litres of milk to neonatal
units nationwide in 2015, helping some 856 babies.
These included 90 sets of twins and 17 sets of
triplets. All donated milk has to be screened for
diseases including HIV, Hepatitis C and Syphilis.
Potential donors are asked to contact
firstname.lastname@example.org or ring
048 686 28333 and staff will provide guidance
through the donation process.