Hi Undercover Blonde readers! Today I’m excited to be working with Prolacta Bioscience to help spread awareness about the importance of neonatal nutrition and the need for donor breast milk to help save the lives of premature infants.
Unlike the adorable Skeeter, my own son was born full-term. But we share a small part of the NICU experience. After two years of infertility, I was thrilled as the time of his birth approached. Like most first-time moms, I had a carefully crafted idea of what my experience would be like. I looked forward to holding my son, decorating his nursery, and breastfeeding. Instead, minutes after giving birth, I found myself alone in the delivery room – my baby taken to a remote nursery, my husband following him there. I had no idea what had happened or what to expect next.
The first time I saw my son outside of the delivery room, he was in an incubator hooked to all kinds of tubes and wires that I didn’t understand. The first day of his life, instead of being a celebration, was filled with worry and confusion. For four days, he received most of his nutrition from an IV. I diligently pumped every few hours, trying to get a few drops of precious liquid in the hopes that I’d be able to nurse my baby soon.
All moms want what is best for their children. Preemie moms are no exception. Tiny micro-preemies have special nutritional needs. Their tiny stomachs can only hold a tiny amount of food, and yet they grow at such a rapid pace that they often require extra protein, minerals, calcium and other nutrients. In some cases, doctors will prescribe a human milk fortifier to be added to breast milk to help meet these needs.
Prolacta Bioscience, a leader in neonatal nutrition, has developed the first and only 100% human milk-based fortifier for premature infants. Other brands are currently made from cow’s milk. According to a clinical study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, when added to human milk, Prolact+ H2MF reduced the odds of developing a dangerous condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in infants weighing between 500 and 1250g or less at birth, when compared to those fed cow milk fortifier or preterm infant formula.
Mothers who are interested in helping preemie moms have the peace of mind that their babies are receiving the best diet possible can donate their breast milk through one of Prolacta’s affiliated milk banks. Their breast milk is collected, tested, pasteurized and formulated into human milk fortifier, or standardized donor milk products (sometimes used with Prolact+ H2MF if the mother’s milk is not available). Healthy, nursing women who qualify as donors will receive all of the supplies they need to donate free of charge, and they can donate from the comfort of their own home.
Knowing the benefits of breast milk, I was so relieved when I was finally able to breastfeed my son for 13 months. Today he is a thriving toddler about to celebrate his 2nd birthday. I know that not all moms have this opportunity, and I’m happy that now there is a way to give back to all of the babies in the NICU not as fortunate as my son.
If you’re interested in learning more about the positive benefits of human milk for premature infants, or want to become a milk donor, you can learn more by visiting Prolacta’s website.
Disclaimer: Blonde…Undercover Blonde received no compensation, monetary or otherwise, for this post. I do promote donations to milk banks for preemies.