As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Tina Santiago-Rodriguez in the Philippines writes about milk sharing after Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) to help moms in need.
“My heart cried out at their unbearable situation, and I told myself I had to do something about it. By nature, I like helping people, so I felt that donating my milk was the right thing to do. I sent all my milk reserves to Ms. Maricel and Ms. Beng’s MilkSharing Hub, and told Ms. Maricel to distribute them to the needy babies in Tacloban.”
Read the full post over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!
Last week, a few breastfeeding advocate friends of mine alerted me and other moms to the fact that September 24th through the 30th of this year is World Milksharing Week. According to the official website, World Milksharing Week is held annually during the last week of September with this goal in mind: “to celebrate milksharing and to promote human milk as the biologically normal nourishment for babies and children.” You can read more about how the idea for this came about here. The theme for this year’s Milksharing Week is “Sharing Milk, Nurturing Community.”
Even though I consider myself pro-breastfeeding (I don’t think I can qualify as a true-blue advocate yet) and even have quite a number of blog posts about it, milksharing is something that I never really gave a serious thought about before. That was, until I read about breast milk donations, especially during times of emergencies. (You can read a bit about them here and here.) I realized that breastfeeding truly does save lives and formula milk donations could prove hazardous to the health of children affected by disasters such as typhoons and earthquakes.
Think about it: When people are stuck in evacuation centers or refugee camps, there is usually a shortage of food supplies and clean water. Diarrhea outbreaks are very common and spread easily due to the lack of proper health care and sanitation systems. According to this article on Protecting babies in emergencies: the role of the public, “babies who are not breastfed are very likely to contract diarrhea-causing illnesses from unclean water and, with a weakened immune system and limited treatment, many will die.” (more…)