In conjunction with National Breastfeeding Week in Canada, pasteurized Donor Human Milk (pDHM) will now be available at the Dr. F.H. Wigmore Regional Hospital as a supplement option for families transitioning newborn babies to breastfeeding exclusively, while in hospital.
“As a family doctor, and mom of three, I am so excited for pDHM to be available at our hospital,” said Dr. Joanne Fynn, a family physician at Alliance Health Clinic in Moose Jaw. “Moms who want to exclusively breastfeed will now have this safe and beneficial supplement option available, if needed, while in hospital.”
The pDHM for the program is purchased from an accredited milk bank in Calgary called NorthernStar Mothers Milk Bank, which is federally regulated and accredited by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. Yorkton Regional Health Centre also currently offers pDHM for newborn babies.
Pasteurized Donor Human Milk is milk from a mother who has generously donated her excess breastmilk to an accredited milk bank where it has undergone a pasteurization process (heat treatment) to make it safe for all babies. It protects babies against infection and disease and it provides for optimum nutrition, growth and development of babies when mom’s milk is not available. Donors must pass an extensive screening process similar to donating blood, including an interview and blood tests. Currently, there are three milk drop-off sites in Saskatchewan in Regina, Saskatoon and Yorkton, with plans to start in Moose Jaw in the future.
According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, breastmilk is universally accepted as the optimal source of nutrition for the first six months of life, and should remain part of a healthy infant diet for the first two years and beyond.