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Breastfeeding Week: Milkbank CEO Advocates Pasteurised Donor Human Milk

todayAugust 4, 2023

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Dr Chinny Obinwanne, founder, Milk booster and Milkbank Nigeria, has advised mothers lactating poorly and working-class nursing mothers unable to breastfeed their babies to embrace the pasteurised donor human milk.
Obinwanne said that this was most suitable for babies rather than supplementing the breast milk with formula.
The MilkBank boss, also a lactation consultant, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos, in commemoration of the 2023 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for 2023 World Breastfeeding Week is “Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work”.
This year’s campaign focuses on promoting practices that can help support workplace-related breastfeeding in different countries across the world.

“In a situation, where nursing mothers are unable to produce enough milk for their babies or unavailable to breastfeed them, rather than them supplementing their breast milk with formula, they can do that with pasteurised donor human milk,” the consultant said.
According to her, the World Health Organisation(WHO) has stated that the pasteurised donor human milk is the best option when babies do not have access to their own mother’s milk.
Obinwanne emphasised that breastfeeding was important to the overall health and wellness of both babies and mothers.

She said breast milk reduces the risk of many illnesses and diseases in a newborn, such as respiratory issues like pneumonia, gastrointestinal issues like vomiting and diarrhea.
According to her, breastmilk also reduce the risk of allergy, eczema, asthma, and atopic dermatitis.
Obinwanne said: “Breast milk provides the perfect nutrition that contains everything a baby needs for the first six months of life.

“For a newborn, the first milk called colostrum, which is loaded with antibodies and coats the lining of the gut, prevents the passage of bacteria and viruses into the body system of the baby.
“The breast milk keeps babies alive by lowering the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) in premature babies.
“Breast milk provides a lot of immediate and long-term benefits that follow the baby as they grow to become toddlers, teenagers, and a grown adult.

According to the lactation consultant, breastfeeding helps a mother to lose weight, because it takes a huge amount of calories to manufacture breast milk.
Obinwanne explained that the more breast milk a mother’s body produces, the more calories it will consume from her body fat storage to make it.
She noted that as long as a nursing mother is eating the right nutrient-dense meals, she will notice a weight loss.
On the challenges of running a milk bank in Nigeria, Obinwanne listed lack of funding and awareness as the major challenges militating the milk bank to thrive.
She noted that without any external funding, the milk booster has been funding the cost implication of running the milk bank.
The consultatant listed the running expenses to include : staff payment, blood screening of each donor mum, the numerous pre-pasteurisation and post-pasteurisation milk screening and overall running of the facility.

“For example, we have gotten 20 recipients requests for human milk, after we engaged them and do the paperwork, eight majority of them do not proceed to the final steps of receiving the milk.
“The milk bank is hoping to fill the gap of awareness and knowledge by partnering with bodies and organisations that represent different arms of healthcare to increase awareness of the need for milk banks in our community,” she said.
Obinwanne called for continuous sensitisation of the public both online and offline on pasteurised donor milk.
She also charged working-class nursing mothers to start preparing early from the first two weeks after delivery on how to breastfeed and store the milk for their baby.


Written by: Kevin Nwabueze

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