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2023 a record year for human milk donations in Northern Health

Over 17 litres, or 5,798 fluid ounces, of human milk was donated in Northern BC last year, which was a record-breaking total.

According to Northern Health, six to eight babies a month required pasteurized milk while in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at UHNBC in 2023.

Jennifer Boon, the Clinical Practice Lead at UHNBC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), said 10 donors provided the donations for the region this year.

“Every month I am sending between 10-20 kilograms of milk to Vancouver,” Boon said. “The donors are found through social media posts and the BC Human Milk website.”

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Northern Health reported each donor, on average, pumped once per day for nearly five months to make these donations.

2023’s donation total surpassed what has been typical in the region in recent years by 170%.

“These donations make quite the difference for young and sick babies,” Boon said. “They help with the transition from IV fluids to feeds, so those babies will have less chance of feeding intolerances and can increase their feeds quicker so they can get home faster.”

You can learn more about milk donations here.

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