Community breast milk bank opens in Christchurch

Long Lunch 04/07/2018
Photo credit: iStock.

A new hospital-based community breast milk bank has opened in Christchurch.

Donated breast milk is frozen and pasteurised and given to parents and caregivers in short supply of milk free of charge.

St George’s Hospital is the first in the country to offer a community driven breast milk bank with pasteurised milk.

Canterbury midwife Yvonne Hiskemuller, who helped start the breast milk bank, told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen that there is a criteria list for people wanting milk.

“Simply because we’re not sure how much milk we will actually have in the beginning but the majority of people will be able to access the milk and it will be dependent on availability,” she said.

“Breast is best, we know that, but the reality is for a lot of woman it just can’t happen,” said Wendyl Nissen.

It’s not the first time a breast milk bank has opened in Canterbury.

In 2014, Christchurch hospital opened the country’s first official human breast milk bank for preterm babies in the neo-natal intensive care unit.

Listen to the full interview with Yvonne Hiskemuller above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.