A Smartphone Gadget Pumps Up Breast-Milk Banks

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Breast-milk banks are a great way to help babies whose mothers aren’t able to breast-feed. Breast milk, in case you didn’t know, does a better job than formula at bolstering a baby’s immune system, especially if the tot is premature or underweight.

Banks are easy to run in some parts of the world. In the U.S., donors place the breast milk in an ice-filled cooler and ship it to a central bank. The milk is pasteurized to kill germs, then mailed to donors on a refrigerated FedEx or UPS truck. The 16 American banks distribute 3 million ounces of breast milk a year across the country.

The developing world is another story. In South Africa, for instance, most milk banks are in cities like Cape Town, but transporting a bottle to a rural clinic can be troublesome. Roads wash out in the rainy season. And the clinics don’t have the resources to pay for a refrigerated truck.

Source: NPR (link opens in a new window)

Health Care
reproductive health