By Jas Tan, milk donor
I was watching the news on the launch of the Donor Human Milk Bank Programme at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) when it hit me: how about donating to this noble initiative? I don’t know much about it but I instinctively knew that it is something I can possibly do. I can save young lives and bless these mummies who are not able to produce sufficient breast milk in time for their little ones.
I have since learnt that the Donor Human Milk Bank Programme is a non-profit initiative by Temasek Foundation Cares. It aims to provide a ready supply of safe, pasteurised human breast milk to premature and sick neonates of mothers who may be unable to provide adequate breast milk to support their babies’ developmental requirements.
I picked up the phone and booked for an appointment without a second thought. What can be better than saving the precious and delicate lives of babies in the Neonatal ICU? During my visit to the human milk bank at Level 2 of the KKH, I was asked to fill in a form. After receiving my consent to obtain a specimen of my blood, I had to undergo a screening process. I was then certified to donate my breast milk on a regular basis for a maximum period of a year after giving birth. The whole process took less than 20 minutes. As the Donor Human Milk Bank Programme operates on weekdays only, I had to trouble my husband to deliver my breastmilk to KKH after I had my milk prepared and packed.
I believe my excess frozen breast milk will be put to good use in this way. Premature babies are fighting for their survival in the NICU and every drop of breastmilk is precious. As a fellow mummy, this was the little that I could do to help and encourage mummies to breastfeed their babies and to pay it forward if they have more than enough breast milk.
Breastfeeding has countless benefits ranging from bonding with our own babies to saving the precious lives of other people’s babies and if you have more than enough supply of milk, why not donate them to the KKH milk bank?
To find out more about the KKH milk bank or to be a donor, you can read more here.