1. Why is breast milk so important?
Breast milk is specifically formulated for the baby, not only in terms of the nutrients it contains but also in terms of its immunological properties. It contains antibodies, which help protect babies while their immune systems are still developing. Breast milk is easy to digest and provides the perfect balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients to promote the growth and development of your baby.
2. Who pays for the compulsory HIV and Hepatitis tests done prior to donating?
Hepatitis B and HIV are tested using rapid tests at the centre. Therefore there are no costs involved for the donor moms.
3. Why are mothers encouraged to donate breast milk instead of being compensated for it?
In order to mitigate the ethical and practical health risks involved with paying for the milk, mothers are encouraged to donate breast milk instead of receiving a payment for it.
Secondly, the NBMB relies mainly on their partners and on sponsorships to keep the bank up and running and make sure that the receiving babies receive the best quality milk and cover all their operational costs
4. What are the proper storage conditions for breast milk at home?
- Handwashing with soap and water is a must before the expression of breastmilk. Use a clean towel to dry your hands
- Your equipment need to be clean and free of dust or debris.
- Donors are allowed to supply milk pre-packaged in non NBMB containers.
- Use polypropylene or polycarbonate plastic containers with a tight fitting lid
- Use breast milk storage bags.
- Rinse glass/plastic collection bottles with hot boiling water before collection and storage of breastmilk.
- Avoid sterilizing agents and anti-bacterial soaps
- Do not mix warm freshly expressed breastmilk with milk already refrigerated.
- Containers must be clearly marked with the donor name, date of expression and date of freezing
- Only frozen breastmilk is accepted by the NBMB
5. How do I get the milk to the Breast Milk Bank?
The donor mothers can bring the Breast Milk to Prof C.H. Pieper’s consulting rooms during office hours at Mediclinic Windhoek. Alternatively, they can contact Sr. Birgit Mayer who will collect it at their homes. Sr. Mayer can be contacted on the following number: number 0811292641 after 13h00 on weekdays and weekends.
6. Will the breast milk be donated to needy babies for free or are there costs involved?
At this stage we still need the code from NAMAF in order for the medical aids to settle the payments. The NBMB therefore still requires payment from the mothers of receiving babies.
7. Why donate milk to the Breast Milk Bank instead of directly to the mother?
Breast milk is provided mainly to premature babies. The preparation of milk for these babies is essential, since their immune systems are so delicate, which is why it is important that the milk goes through the screening and pasteurization processes performed at the Bank.