9th October 2014
Our daughter Raffaella was born at 37 weeks gestation weighing 6lb. Due to my heart condition and the birth of Raffaella by caesarean section I was unable to initiate skin to skin contact or breastfeeding immediately after birth. Raffaella was observed to have some symptoms which required her to spend the following 5 days in the neonatal unit. Breastfeeding throughout this time was established but her lack of increasing weight gain throughout this time was an ongoing issue. Poor latch and my diuretic medication inhibited my milk supply and Raffaella needed additional nutritional support. It was a pleasant surprise to be offered donor breast milk to satisfy her frequent cluster feeding, this being delivered regularly by the Northwest Milk Bank staff. The supply of donor milk was approved by the Dietician and GP caring for our baby during this time.
The Northwest Milk Bank has been a vital service to us both in principle and in practice. It is greatly reassuring to know that there are people who share your beliefs about the health benefits of breast milk and who go the extra mile to provide their excess breast milk for other babies.
We hadn’t previously known about the Northwest Milk Bank, but due to our experiences with the team we have offered to raise funds and awareness of their important work. Our hope is that Raffaella’s case can help other babies in the future where formula milk may be an unsuitable option… breast milk and donor breast milk gives babies a healthier start in life.