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SA Doctor Urges Breast Feeding Moms To Donate Milk

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A South African medical doctor is urging mothers to donate breast milk in order to feed needy babies as a way of saving their lives.

Dr Joy Summerton, who works at the Pietersburg Hospital in Polokwane, recently joined the province's only breast milk bank - the Initiative for Newborn Care - in Mankweng.

The milk bank provides milk for babies born prematurely, whose mothers might have problem producing their own milk.

Summerton said if more women joined then more babies would be saved. The mother of three said moms should look beyond their belief systems to help out needy babies.

Summerton said she was a "big" believer in breast milk, having raised her two sons using it and now her youngest daughter. "I encourage mothers who still have breast milk in them to come and join in an endeavour to save lives of babies.

"This milk is manufactured by God and it goes a long way in helping to feed unfortunate babies who need it."

She fills two 200ml bottles a day in addition to what she feeds her daughter.

The bottles are then transported to the bank after being collected from a fridge she stores them in. She said the milk would be pasteurised upon reaching the bank and tested to ensure it was healthy.

She said she drinks a lot of fluids to keep her milk healthy. "Mothers must eat healthily as their babies get healthy from the food they eat," she said.

Head of the neonatal unit which houses the milk bank at the Mankweng Hospital, Dr Kenny Hamese, also stressed the importance of using breast milk to feed babies.

Hamese said there were over 50 women who were already donating breast milk to the institution.

Sowetan Live

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