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Mother’s Milk Bank – Pataka Miraka, a major new service for our region’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients. [stock image]

On this final day of ‘Neonatal November’ the Foundation is thrilled to announce funding to establish a Mother’s Milk Bank – Pataka Miraka, for Wellington Regional Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.   ‘Pataka Miraka’ means ‘Milk Storehouse’, and this exciting new service will help and protect our hospital’s tiniest and most vulnerable patients. 

This is a much needed and long awaited service for our region.  Pasteurised, donated breast milk will be critical for feeding sick and premature infants when mothers do not have a sufficient milk supply for their wee babies’ nutritional needs during their time in the NICU.  “Mother’s milk is critical for infants’ growth and development, and protects them from infection. Having a breast milk bank is a long-awaited investment in the long-term health of these fragile infants, and we are delighted and grateful to the Wellington Hospitals Foundation for funding this new service,” says Rosemary Escott, Nurse Manager of Wellington’s NICU. 

Bill Day Chair of the Foundation said, “The Mother’s Milk Bank -Pataka Miraka, is a continuation of the support that the Foundation has provided the Wellington NICU over the past 10 years.  Through our community’s generosity we have been able to fund more than $3 million in much needed medical equipment, care items and also medical research into the treatment of pre-term infants.  We are delighted to be able to continue our support of the NICU as they care for these precious wee babies.”

The Foundation has provided $306,000 to establish the Mother’s Milk Bank – Pataka Miraka service, as well as ongoing funding for the foreseeable future.  The service will be fully operational from early 2021.