LatchOn! Breastmilk Drive
There is a great need for donor breastmilk at Tygerberg Hospital’s neonatal unit, especially for preemie babies who may spend months at the hospital and whose moms often cannot provide enough breastmilk. The coronavirus pandemic has also provided its own set of challenges in the procurement of milk, where donors were not able to donate breastmilk.
To this end, the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust in partnership with Tygerberg Hospital has embarked on a breast milk donation drive called the LatchOn! Breastmilk Drive. The purpose of the LatchOn! Breastmilk Drive is to ensure that there is sufficient breastmilk to help all the babies, now and into the future.
Tameryn Rix, an occupational therapist who works in the Neurology and Neurosurgery Unit at Tygerberg Hospital is a breast milk donor and she had this to share, “I am one of those fortunate women who produces excess breast milk. I started collecting and freezing milk over a period of time and gradually built a sizeable collection. I know that Tygerberg Hospital is always in need of breast milk especially for their premature babies and knew that donating was the only way forward for these babies in need. It’s a wonderful feeling to provide milk to babies in need and to give them the best nutritional start in life, and to impact positively on the lives of little people.”
The Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust under the leadership of CEO, Mr Jason Falken, is garnering all its resources in support of the initiative and is appealing to moms, individuals and companies alike, to join them in support of the LatchOn! Breastmilk Drive. The appeal is for moms to donate surplus breast milk. Moms wishing to donate breast milk will be screened, tested and counselled at the Tygerberg Breastmilk Training Room, 2nd Floor, East Side Entrance, Tygerberg Hospital. We are appealing to the general public to donate and drop off glass jars smaller than 250ml at the same space.
“We would like to create a sustainable supply of breastmilk for the Hospital to ensure that all our babies are provided with this important nutritional source”, says Mr Jason Falken. “It’s also important that we provide a clean, safe and welcoming space at the Hospital where moms feel comfortable and safe while expressing milk, and also feel free to engage with each other in a socially supportive environment.”
Tygerberg Hospital is the largest hospital in the Western Cape and cares for the greatest number of children within the Province, including many from our rural communities. The Hospital provides care for a substantially high number of premature babies in South Africa, and is one of only a few functioning State breastmilk pasteurising facilities in the Province
It is well known that breastmilk is the most complete source of nutrition for babies from birth to six months and beyond. Breastmilk provides a perfectly balanced source of nutrition for babies. It is easily digestible, contains everything a growing baby needs and provides important antibodies to fight infections and allergies. For a preemie baby, access to breastmilk daily is vital for the baby’s survival and is especially important for brain development and ensuring a healthy immune system.
Together, we may be United for a Healthy Future.
For more information follow the Tygerberg Hospital Children’s Trust on: www.tygerbergchildren.org.za
“Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that can overwhelm the world.” Archbishop Emeritus Tutu