Haiti

URGENT CALL FOR HUMAN MILK DONATIONS FOR HAITI INFANTS

January 25th, 2010 – A Call for Action

URGENT CALL FOR HUMAN MILK DONATIONS FOR HAITI INFANTSThe Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United StatesBreastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United StatesLactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI)are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as wellas sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped tothe U.S. Navy Ship “Comfort” stationed outside Haiti. “Comfort” is currently set up with aneonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of theearthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navybase in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to the“Comfort.” Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board the “Comfort” tocoordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, andLLL are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk motherswho have recently delivered babies on board the U.S.N.S. Comfort, but an urgent need exists foradditional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk on land to Haiti infants has not yetbeen established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be providedto older infants.Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers’ Milk Bankof HMBANA.

A list of regional milk banks is available at the HMBANA website atwww.hmbana.org.Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for bothHaiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and prematureinfants in the U.S. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants. Financialdonations are also strongly encouraged to allow HMBANA, a nonprofit organization, to continueserving infants in need.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medicalprofessionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disastersor emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe,clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in anemergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to providesupport for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assistpregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

For more information, contact HMBANA at 408-998-4550 or www.hmbana.org. Additionalinformation can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at 202-367-1132(www.usbreastfeeding.org), ILCA/USLCA at 1-800-452-2478 (www.ilca.org orwww.uslca.org), or La Leche League at 847-519-7730 (www.llli.org).

URGENT CALL FOR HUMAN MILK DONATIONS FOR HAITI INFANTS

January 25th, 2010 – A Call for Action

URGENT CALL FOR HUMAN MILK DONATIONS FOR HAITI INFANTSThe Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United StatesBreastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United StatesLactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI)are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as wellas sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped tothe U.S. Navy Ship “Comfort” stationed outside Haiti. “Comfort” is currently set up with aneonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of theearthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navybase in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to the“Comfort.” Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board the “Comfort” tocoordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, andLLL are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk motherswho have recently delivered babies on board the U.S.N.S. Comfort, but an urgent need exists foradditional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk on land to Haiti infants has not yetbeen established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be providedto older infants.Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers’ Milk Bankof HMBANA.

A list of regional milk banks is available at the HMBANA website atwww.hmbana.org.Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for bothHaiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and prematureinfants in the U.S. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants. Financialdonations are also strongly encouraged to allow HMBANA, a nonprofit organization, to continueserving infants in need.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medicalprofessionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disastersor emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe,clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in anemergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to providesupport for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assistpregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

For more information, contact HMBANA at 408-998-4550 or www.hmbana.org. Additionalinformation can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at 202-367-1132(www.usbreastfeeding.org), ILCA/USLCA at 1-800-452-2478 (www.ilca.org orwww.uslca.org), or La Leche League at 847-519-7730 (www.llli.org).

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