Nursing Mothers Breastfeeding Babies

World Breastfeeding Week: Firm launches first MilkBank in Nigeria

The Milk Booster, a company that produces lactation products that help increase breast milk supply, on Friday introduced the first MilkBank in Nigeria in commemoration of the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the 2022 World Breastfeeding Week was: “Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support”.

It seeks to involve Governments, communities, and individuals in raising awareness about sustainable breastfeeding environment.

Dr Chinny Obinwanne -Ezewike, Founder/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Milk Booster, said that the milkbank initiative was geared towards providing pasteurised donor breast milk for pre-term, low birth weight, and other vulnerable infants in order for them to enjoy the enormous benefits of breastmilk.

Obinwanne -Ezewike, is also a Lactation Consultant and member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

She said the idea to launch the Milkbank arose having been helping over 50,000 babies get more breast milk from their mothers through Milk Booster products since five years ago.

She explained that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recommended that when a baby cannot get breastmilk from their mother, the next best option is donor milk before considering infant formula.

Obinwanne -Ezewike said that WHO have advised mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for six months with extended breastfeeding for two years and beyond.

The lactation consultant stated that breastmilk is very important for babies but not all mothers can produce enough milk or produce at all, such as the surrogate mother, working-class mothers, hence; the need for the MilkBank to bridge the gap.

She expressed disappointment that Nigeria ranked third highest in the number of pre-term birth across the world and first in infant mortality rate in Africa.

Obinwanne -Ezewike urged governments and organisations to support the MilkBank project to enable mothers in the rural areas to also enjoy the facility.

She said: “We already have over 165,000 Milk Booster Community mum who are always ready to donate breastmilk free of charge and educating more to also do same.

According to her, the primary recipients of the breastmilk as prioritised by the company would be low birthweight babies, sick premature babies in the Intensive Care Units, premature babies doing well before the sick full term babies and other demands.

Obinwanne -Ezewike said tht the MilkBank would service the general hospitals, government hospitals, private hospitals and surrogate agencies.

She stated that the firm had invested over 15,000 dollars into the community-based milk bank facility.

In her remark, Dr Mobolaji Olajide, Lecturer 1, Department of Nursing, University of Lagos, emphasised the need for Nigeria mothers to be educated and embrace the MilkBank which is already a global practice.