The NEC Society and Best for Babes® Foundation announces another first for healthier moms and babies — the 1st Nationwide Miracle Milk™ Mother’s Day Stroll . On Saturday May 10, 2014, thousands of parents, friends, family and community members, will gather in parks and malls across the U.S. and Canada to raise funds and awareness for human milk to help save the lives of 500 premature infants annually from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC) – and help prevent 5000 babies each year from contracting this often deadly and painful disease.
Feeding fragile and compromised babies human milk – whether from the mother or by donor — has been shown to reduce the risk of NEC by 79%. NEC is an excruciating bowel inflammation that can require multiple surgeries to remove dead tissue, may result in organ failure, months- long neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stays, and can cost between $200,000 to over $1,000,000 to treat. Lifelong complications and treatment may also ensue. The anguish it causes parents is indescribable.
In its most recent policy statement on breastfeeding and human milk, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states unequivocally that “the potent benefits of human milk are such that all preterm infants should receive human milk… If mother’s own milk is unavailable despite significant lactation support, pasteurized donor milk should be used.” PEDIATRICS Vol. 129 No. 3 March 1, 2012, pp. e827 -e841.
“The AAP’s call for all preterm babies to have pasteurized donor milk when mother’s own milk is unavailable is largely being ignored. Sixty percent of the nation’s NICUs do not use donor milk,” says Jennifer Canvasser, whose 11 month-old son died last year from NEC. It’s a tragedy that more parents, health care providers, medical directors and hospital administrators don’t know about donor milk’s existence, accessibility, safety and life-saving powers for babies in the NICU.”
“Our goal with this event is to create a nationwide consumer-driven platform to raise awareness, funds and milk donations to help make human and donor milk the standard of care in NICUs everywhere to help reduce the suffering and deaths” says Best for Babes Co-Founder Danielle Rigg. “Human Milk Saves Lives. We don’t really need more science. What we need are more solutions to help more moms get more Miracle Milk™ to more fragile babies.”
Currently, the Stroll has more than 50 sites across the U.S. and Canada, with more on the way. Groups are being led by local volunteers and will gather casually in common spaces to socialize, stroll, and celebrate the human milk cause. Registration requires a donation, and anyone can make a donation even if they cannot attend. The purchase of the official event Miracle Milk™ T-shirt is optional. Donations of human milk are being accepted by HMBANA in conjunction with this event by contacting them directly at http://www.hmbana.org and mentioning the Stroll.
Proceeds benefit Best for Babes and its partners NEC Society, Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), Reaching our Sisters Everywhere (ROSE), and the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA), and will be used to fund education for parents, health care providers, medical directors and hospital administrators about the critical role of human milk and donor milk in a premature, fragile or compromised infant’s diet. The event is being generously sponsored by PJ’s Comfort breast pump maker Limerick and MotherLove Herbal Company.