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This International Milk Donor Appreciation Day we celebrate and thank the women who have donated an incredible 232 litres of liquid gold to the Wellington Hospitals Foundation funded Mothers Milk Bank/Pātaka Miraka, since it’s opening in May 2021 in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).  Milk from a baby’s own mother is always the first choice, but when her milk isn’t available, pasteurised donor milk is the next best thing.  The Foundation and NICU team extend our appreciation to the women who offer this precious gift for a child in need.

Donor milk banking is becoming common practice around the world because a donor’s milk has active beneficial properties and is similar to a mother’s own milk. It provides babies with antibodies to fight disease and infection, which is especially important for sick and very tiny babies. 

There are many reasons why a preemie or high needs baby may not be able to be breastfed, including maternal sickness. Not only has Pātaka Miraka been able to support vulnerable babies in Wellington, but also other hospitals too.  This has either stopped them being transferred from their home unit, or has enabled them to return home from NICU earlier with a supply of donated pasteurised breastmilk.

The Foundation is a proud and long-time partner of our hospital’s NICU team, providing medical equipment and other items that help precious premature or high needs pēpē and their families.