NGOs > Milk Bank Guatemala
Twenty-five year old Miriam Gutierrez had just lost her full term baby due to complications. To aid her grief and help other babies in need, she decided to donate her breast milk to the Milk Bank at The Hospital Nacional Pedro Bethancourt, in Guatemala.
The Milk bank provides screened and pasteurised donor mothers’ milk to sick and premature babies where the mother’s own milk is not available for their baby.
Breast milk, is rich in proteins and other nutrients, and is given to babies who suffer from immune depression, persistent diarrhea or are allergic to components of other types of milk, including their own mothers.
Milk banks have developed as research has provided better understanding of the benefits of breast milk and how to preserve it. Milk banks benefit babies in outpatient and inpatient clinics when either the baby or the mother is unavailable for regular breastfeeding.
The hospital corridors were at bursting level, families with so many children. I was led through a door into a ward with a simple ‘no bottles’ sign on the door.
The ward was a mix of high tech incubators and old pots boiling milk on the stove.
Milk banks enable working women to provide babies with the best nutrition and the most affordable one. Hence, they make it easier for families to thrive preventing them from diverting important income to less beneficial foods. Milk banks have developed as research has provided better understanding of the benefits of breast milk and the preservation of breast milk. Milk banks benefit babies in outpatient and inpatient clinics when either the baby or the mother are unavailable for regular breastfeeding, which provide for children suffering certain types of diseases or who can’t be breastfed by their mothers.