The Breast Milk Bank of the Region of Murcia, which was launched in March 2021 at the Virgen de la Arrixaca hospital, has already allowed 309 newborns who could not receive milk from their mothers to be fed.
To date, 395 women have donated 1,922 litres of breast milk, used to feed newborns admitted to the Virgen de la Arrixaca, Santa Lucía or Rafael Méndez hospitals who could not receive this food from their mothers.
World Breastfeeding Week is being commemorated from 1 to 7 August to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding for newborns.
Breastmilk is the best food for infants and supports their development. In the case of newborns with a pathology, such as premature infants weighing less than 1,500 grams, its benefits include the prevention and reduction of necrotising enterocolitis, a complication that premature babies can suffer from and which affects the intestine.
The milk bank processes, analyses, stores and distributes this food to nourish hospitalised newborns who, for various reasons, do not have sufficient milk from their mothers and are particularly vulnerable, such as those born with a low birth weight.
Women who want to participate are selected after a clinical interview and a blood test (serology and toxins) and, if everything is correct, they are accepted as donors.
Participants pump their milk at home and freeze it. A transport company collects the milk from the donors’ homes anywhere in the Region and takes it to the Arrixaca milk bank, where it is analysed and its nutritional properties are determined.
A TOTAL OF 16 BANKS IN SPAIN
There are currently 16 milk banks throughout Spain. The Regional Ministry of Health encourages women who are breastfeeding to become breast milk donors.
To do so, they can contact the Murcia bank on the following telephone numbers: Murcia ‘968 369 802’ and Cartagena ‘968 110 799’.