For Immediate Release 10-31-12

Emily Katz Kishawi, 415.309.5845,
Laura Saponara,510.367.8453,

National Non-Profit Milk Banks Issue Emergency Call for Donations

As the East coast reels from hurricane damage and the country responds with aid, there is another crisis happening in hospitals all around the continent. The available supply of
life-saving donor human milk is inadequate for preterm infants in Canada
and the US, leading physicians to make tough choices.

“We are facing acute shortages of donations from moms this holiday season,” says Kim Updegrove, a certified nurse midwife and spokesperson for the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA).

Right now, explains Updegrove, there is not enough milk to meet the needs of all of the newborns in the hospital neonatal intensive care units that HMBANA serves. Nurses, parents and volunteers who run the milk banks are preparing for the possibility that displaced families, power outages and disrupted shipping channels may further affect infants who rely on donated milk.

During the holiday season, the shortage of donated milk is expected to worsen further. HMBANA has issued an emergency call for donations.

“Mothers who are blessed with extra milk can play a direct role in giving another child the best possible start in life,” said Updegrove. “Lactating moms who donate their extra milk are sharing a true gift: the ability to help another baby to survive.”

For more information, visit

Women interested in donating milk can send a note to or find a Mothers’ Milk Bank on Facebook.

HMBANA’s nonprofit milk banks receive surplus milk and dispense it after the donated milk is pasteurized and tested.