I am so excited to share that The Best for Babes® Foundation announced 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 67 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 that die 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 being ignored. 60% of the nation’s NICUs do not use donor milk,” says Jennifer Canvasser, whose son died last year from NEC. Canvasser is the founder of the NECSociety, a primary partner of the event. “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 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 premature, sick and fragile babies.”
Currently, the Stroll has 67 sites across the U.S. and Canada.
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 www.hmbana.org and mentioning the Stroll.
Proceeds benefit Best for Babes and its partners NECSociety, 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.
To register, donate, or learn more, visit: http://www.bestforbabes.org/miracle-milk-stroll
I have been a fan of Best For Babes for some time and this year I was honored to join their board of directors as their Director of Marketing + Social Media. Thank you so much for supporting an organization that I hold near and dear to my heart.
The Best for Babes Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit and the only independent, mainstream consumer-driven cause for breastfeeding and human milk. BFB’s mission is to change the cultural perception of breastfeeding and to eliminate the barriers — the Breastfeeding Booby Traps® — that prevent parents from making informed feeding decisions and from achieving their personal feeding goals. We harness the power of moms, celebrities, companies, advertising, the media and the medical community to build a true cause that can put pressure on the barriers, not moms, through education, advocacy and national fundraising campaigns. We raise awareness of the power of human milk (by breastfeeding or donated milk) as both prevention and treatment for pandemic diseases.